Online Games Sector
The Internet is the fastest-growing market in the history of the WORLD, but just this one sector has been growing FOUR TIMES FASTER than the Internet overall. People aren’t just using the web for information anymore; they now see it as a prime deliverer of entertainment. It’s even eating into TV-viewing figures, and therefore also TV advertising revenue. Meanwhile, in-game advertising is predicted to grow by 70% year-on-year, to be worth USD billions in three years. It’s no wonder that TV companies are scrambling for a piece of online games real estate – buying companies, launching games platforms, and putting their content online in interactive form.
The potential reach of the Internet is staggering. With broadband (and therefore quicker web access) reaching ever more homes and Internet cafés, the popularity of live interaction with other people online is exploding.
The speed of people’s home Internet connections is driving this market. In America, nearly 75% of Internet users had broadband at home last year, up from 57% just one year earlier…and Internet users in India increased by 54% in just one year.
Alex Burmaster, European Internet Analyst, Nielsen//NetRatings (a global leader in Internet media and market research) said, “Take the fact that the online games sector is growing at four times the rate of overall Internet growth together with the increasing numbers…online and it is easy to see why companies such as MTV Networks are looking to get a piece of the action.”
The online games sector has been identified as the next step in the evolution of online entertainment, and people of all ages, from all over the world, play in their millions. And within this sector, “casual skill-based games” rank as one of the most popular pastimes.
What are casual games of skill?
Casual games are familiar, fun pastimes such as:
Board games like draughts, backgammon
Sports games like pool, golf and basketball
Puzzle games like jigsaws and word games
These are played online in a tournament format, with each player paying a cash entry fee to play, and with a cash or merchandise prize going to the winner or winners of the tournament. Skill-based games are named accordingly because the outcome of each competition is based on the players’ ability and performance, with any elements of luck either eliminated. This is critical, in order to be legal and avoid falling under anti-gambling statutes.
People like to play these games on their computers for a fun challenge. Playing them online against someone else adds an extra social, competitive element; and playing for cash prizes between USD$1 and $1,000 upwards makes them even more exciting and rewarding!
What does all of this mean? It means that online games are where the money is. People are willing to pay to play, and they are doing it already. Interesting fact?