Future Bright for Ad-Supported Casual Gaming

July 24, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Boomers & Older | Media & Entertainment | Videogames | Women

Casual gamers are open to alternative business models, expressing broad support for advertising – eight of ten are willing to view an ad in return for free play - as well as for online trials and cross-game promotion, according to the results of Macrovision‘s annual global survey on casual gaming.

Casual gamers are serious about their game-playing, with 28% reporting that they play more than nine sessions per week – and 32% of those sessions lasting at least an hour, according to last year’s survey.

Some highlights of the current casual-gaming survey:

  • Some 83% of survey participants – casual gamers – are willing to view a 30-second ad in order to play a game for free.
  • 53% are willing to purchase the game only after they have played with a trial version. Of this segment, 54% say they would decide whether they are willing to purchase a game within 60 minutes of play time.
  • The percentage of survey participant that rely on promotional emails for more information about new games rose from 14% last year to 34%.
  • The percentage of survey participants that use gaming websites to find out about new games rose from 28% to 45%.
  • This year’s survey demographic results remained consistent with last year’s:
    • 34% of casual game players are age 35-49.
    • 29% are age 50-60.
    • 60% are female.
    • 39% are male.
    • 58% have no children under age 18 living in their households.
  • Findings on playing and purchasing habits:
    • 28% play nine or more game sessions per week.
    • 32% say each session typically lasts for at least one hour.
    • 26% spend more than two hours in each gameplay session.
    • 29% have downloaded more than 20 games in the last year.
    • 67% read game reviews; of those, 81% say they are influenced to try a game based on the review and 65% say that reviews have influenced them to purchase a new game in the past.
  • Findings on preferred genres of casual games:
    • Puzzle – 48%
    • Simulations – 26%
    • Action – 23%

“This year’s survey highlights that advertising is now an increasing revenue option and trials are a must in marketing to casual gamers,” said Michael Buchheim, EVP and general manager of the Distribution and Commerce Business Unit at Macrovision. “Gamers are now turning to advertising and promotional materials to help them make their decisions on which games to play and purchase.”

About the survey: Close to 400 gamers participated in the 2007 Macrovision survey, which was conducted between June 26 and July 11, 2007 and hosted on trygames.com.

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