A study from Q Interactive and Social Media World Forum of more than 2,000 women in November of 2009 found them actively engaging with brands as they partake in social media gaming. The report also states:
50% of U.S. women play online games according to Pew Internet
The online social-gaming market is expected to at least double from $720 million to over $1 billion by 2010 according to Think Equity
The study also establishes a picture of the typical woman engaged in social media games and applications:
85% of those surveyed use five or less games and/or apps regularly, indicating an inclination to be loyal to a handful of favorites; approximately 15% regularly invest in six or more games/apps at a time
57% are earning/spending virtual currency daily
74% got involved in a game or app due to a recommendation by family or friend or because they noticed a friend or family member’s score
95% utilize virtual currency primarily to gift and/or advance games
In interacting with games and apps, 57% feel virtual gifting – for example, giving a bag of virtual makeup from Sephora – is as meaningful as real life gifting
97% of women prefer to earn virtual currency through either winning more or accepting a branded offer – versus paying for it with “real” money
Only one in ten women have actually used “real” money to purchase virtual currency; of that, 85% have spent under $100 in their gaming and aping activities – ever
Of women who have signed up for branded offers to get more virtual currency, 67% found the offer useful
37% of those women chose the branded offers based on “content”; 17% went for offers with free products or services
A follow up study in February, 2010 Q Interactive and Engage! Expo revealed insight into the psychology of women who play social media games, the largest demographic of social media users. The study of over 700 women, about 54% of which play daily and 30% weekly, investigates a range of viewpoints around salient social media gaming topics. This is the company’s third recent proprietary research study from its “Women’s Channel.”
Of those surveyed, 42% consider themselves gamers and 7% deem themselves obsessed:
For 67%, one to five hours per week is socially acceptable
26% feel six or more hours per week is socially acceptable.
Nearly 45% of those surveyed have friends they consider obsessed with social media gaming.
Approximately 16% of those surveyed hide or sometimes hide their gaming habits.
Over two-thirds of those surveyed believe there are stigmas associated with gaming. For those women, the leading stigmas are:
Games are addictive (24%)
Play makes you neglectful of other areas of your life (21%)
Gaming is a waste of time (17%)
Play at work is basically off limits: 93% of those surveyed share they primarily play at home versus work.
More than half of women surveyed, 54%, fear more games will make gamers pay in the future:
If forced to pay, 77% would give up the game, while:
10% would prefer a monthly subscription or fee
10% would prefer a pay-as-I-go system
2% would prefer a separate payment scenario for each game played
Chris Sherman Founder of the Engage! Expo said, “… moms and kids are both wired into social media gaming… however, mom… is actively supervising the time her kids play and what they spend”
Overall kids (children under 18 years old) are connected: 16% of moms say their children have a smart phone.
According to mom, 40% of kids are allowed to play daily, 37% weekly, and 10% monthly.
Generally speaking, kids are banned from the wallet: 80% are not allowed to pay for social media gaming.
The Entertainment Software Association released its annual report a couple of weeks ago. We took the time to go through it and pull out some of the most interesting facts. The full report is available here for free. Here are the key data points.
The average age of game buyers is 39
Growth in Online Games:
57% of male game players play games online more than one hour per week
43% of female game players play games online more than one hour per week
Types of Online Games Played Most Often:
43% puzzle/board/trivia/card games
21% action/sports/strategy/role-play games
16% MMO games
Paying to Play Online Games:
23% of frequent users pay to play games online
In 2003 only 5.2% of frequent users paid to play games online
Parents’ Opinions of Games:
63% of parents believe games are a positive part of their children’s lives
Parents are present 92% of the time when games are purchased or rented
94% of parents monitor the content of the games their children play
Games for Training
70% of major employers utilize interactive software and games to train employees
More than 75% of businesses and nonprofits already offering video game-based training plan to expand their usage in the next 3-5 years
Government Regulation and Piracy
In FY 09, a total of 161 bills (80 in 2008 and 81 in 2009 to date) affecting computer and video games were introduced in 37 states
None of the pending bills from 2008 were carried over to the 2009 legislative session
Italy is the worst country with regards to Peer-to-peer game piracy
Consumers downloaded nearly 6.5 million illegal copies of games across 223 countries, regions or territories
The top two pirated games accounted for 4.7 million of these downloads, a figure that far exceeds those games’ legitimate sales for that period.