In a new report issued by Parks Associates, the firm forecasts that the social gaming industry will increase it’s revenue by five times between 2010 and 2015. The revenue increase is fueled primarily by increased advertising revenues and virtual goods sales. According to Parks Associates, these driving factors have already pushed social gaming revenues north of $1 Billion in 2010, and they see the trend continuing. The research firm presented the findings of their Social Gaming: Market Updates report at the Game Investment Conference in Austin, TX.
“Gaming on social networks has quickly become the most visible category of online games,” said Pietro Macchiarella, Research Analyst, Parks Associates in a statement. “Right now more than 250 million people play games like Zynga’s CityVille and FarmVille on Facebook every month, and both game developers and marketers have taken notice. Big brands such as McDonald’s and 7-Eleven have carried out cross-promotions with existing social games.”
Macchiarella also points to improved user monetization is a factor contributing to the industry’s success. He notes that early entrants to the field missed key monetization and revenue opportunities, but rapid advancements in gameplay has allowed for more effective incentives for users to purchase virtual items. Examples include virtual tractors and seed, items that improve or enhance gameplay, as well as rare items (swords, shields, etc.) to build status.