Are gaming subscriptions "going the way of the dodo?"

Duck and cover, subscription gamers, as the sky is finally falling (according to a report from Parks Associates, at any rate). The research firm has collated data that suggests one in five active U.S. gamers spends money on virtual items. What's not clear is the definition of "active," nor why the 20 percent of F2P users is highlighted while the remaining 80% is not.

The report ostensibly samples "a wide swath of the online gaming market, including MMOs, console games, casual social titles, and cloud-based game offerings." It also notes a 7% decrease in online gaming subscriptions from 2008 to 2010, a period which also happens to coincide with the once-in-a-generation economic disaster that is still ongoing.

Nevertheless, Parks' Pietro Macchiarella feels that the data makes it "increasingly difficult to justify subscription fees. Thanks to social games and free-to-play MMOs, both casual and hardcore players have the option of playing quality games online for free," he says. Check out the source article at Industry Gamers.