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Mobile, Social Boost Online Gaming Populations

Mobile gaming to rise 26.2% this year

With a greater variety of games and gaming platforms to choose from, more people than ever before are playing online games in the US.

Zynga’s FarmVille helped bring the social gaming movement into the mainstream in 2009. Since then, the number of US online gamers has grown to include those who play shorter and simpler games accessed via social networks and mobile devices.

eMarketer forecasts that this year, mobile gamers will have the highest number of users among the different types of online game players in the US. Mobile gamers will also continue to grow more rapidly than other gaming audiences, reaching 141 million in 2014. Increased smartphone ownership is driving the rapid growth of mobile gaming. Between 2010 and 2012, smartphone gamers will grow from 45.8% to 75% of all mobile gamers.

Social gamers saw rapid growth in 2010 and 2011, at 27% and 31%, respectively. eMarketer expects the number of social gamers in the US to increase by 10% this year. Growth in 2013 and 2014 will continue on a slow but steady climb, as social gaming inches towards maturity. The rate of increase for social gamers is currently higher than that of social network users, but eMarketer predicts the rates will inch closer in 2013 and 2014.

eMarketer defines social gamers as social network users who play games on a social network at least once per month. Mobile gamers are mobile phone users who play games on mobile phones at least once per month. This excludes pre-installed games played on feature phones and tablets.

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.


Check out today’s other articles, “TV Watchers Use Digital Devices to Multitask Online” and “Facebook Users in Japan Report High Engagement.”

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