We've seen console gaming numbers as a whole dip somewhat over the past few months, but gaming numbers on the social networking side have been anything but down. A new report on the matter from the NPD Group asserts that a full 20 percent (that's 1 in 5, if you're counting) of Americans ages 6 and older have played a social networking game of some sort, and we're guessing that number would be far higher if people weren't embarrassed to admit the truth. Unfortunately, the report doesn't dig deep into what exactly they were playing (our Monopoly bucks are on Farmville), but we are told that "10 percent of social network gamers have spent real money playing these games and 11 percent indicate that they are likely to make a future purchase." Curiously enough, the gender split is just about even, with 47 percent of social networking gamers being female, 53 being male and 2.4 percent being unidentified beings from District 9. You heard it here first, folks: the console is dead.
Show full PR text
20 PERCENT OF THE U.S. POPULATION, OR 56.8 MILLION U.S. CONSUMERS, REPORTS HAVING PLAYED A GAME ON A SOCIAL NETWORK

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, AUGUST 23, 2010 - According to Social Network Gaming, the most recent report from leading market research company, The NPD Group, 20 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and older reports having played a game on a social network in the past three months. This equates to 56.8 million U.S. consumers, which is a significant number for a relatively new gaming activity.


(Media-Newswire.com) - PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, AUGUST 23, 2010 - According to Social Network Gaming, the most recent report from leading market research company, The NPD Group, 20 percent of the U.S. population ages 6 and older reports having played a game on a social network in the past three months. This equates to 56.8 million U.S. consumers, which is a significant number for a relatively new gaming activity.

According to the report, 35 percent of social network gamers are new to gaming, never having participated in any other type of gaming before they started playing games on social networks. Females and older age groups are more likely to be new gamers than other groups measured in the study.

Interestingly, despite the perception that social network gamers are primarily females, the study finds that social network gamers are fairly evenly divided between genders, at 47 percent male, and 53 percent female.

"Although 35 percent of social network gamers are new to gaming, it's clear that a lot of existing gamers have been drawn into the social network gaming arena as well," said Anita Frazier, Industry Analyst, The NPD Group. "This impacts both the time they spend with other types of gaming, as well as the amount of money they're spending on gaming. As more players are drawn into these games, the entire games industry is going to feel, and have to adjust to, the impact."

While you can play these games for free, it is worth noting that 10 percent of social network gamers have spent real money playing these games and 11 percent indicate that they are likely to make a future purchase. Social network games are also impacting spending on other types of gaming activities as gamers report spending 20 percent less on gaming overall since they started playing social network games.

"There are many distinctions between the players who spend money and those that don't," said Frazier. "While social network gaming has caught on with a mass market audience, it's not without its challenges. Players are frustrated by slow loading and performance issues and report getting bored by the games easily. Clearly, these types of games will have to continue to evolve if they hope to hold their audiences and incentivize them to spend money playing."

Methodology
This study is comprised of two sample types: a nationally representative sample of social network gamers as well as a pre-identified sample of social network gamers. The source of the former is NPD's Games Acquisition Monitor ( fielded April 5-20, 2010 ), which is weighted and projected to be representative of the US population age 6+. The pre-ID portion of the sample was fielded from June 1-9, 2010 via an online survey to NPD's Consumer Panel, yielding qualified social network gamers ( also age 6+ ), defined as those who are members of or users of at least one social network site and who also currently play games on at least one of these sites. Also included in this report is data based on individuals who do not play social network games, but who are members/users of these sites.


About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit http://www.npd.com/, or follow us Twitter at https://twitter.com/npdgroup.