Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Who's the most Engaging?: Top Gaming Sites Ranked by Average Time Spent

Yesterday, I compiled a list of socnets courtesy of Compete.com new Ranked Lists Feature. Today, it's something nearer and dearer to our hearts: gaming sites. Some of these sites you may not be familiar with, so I added a brief description.

If you don't see a site listed, it's because it didn't make it into Compete's top 200 sites by total time spent.

Game Sites Listed by Average Time Spent (May 2008)
1. Pogo.com: 819.77 (casual games + social networking features. Part of EA)
2. Gaiaonline: 318.45 (forums + avatars + games + social networking features)
3. Neopets: 198.66 (games + avatars + virtual world -kinda. Part of MTVnetworks)
4. King.com: 169.91 (skill games)
5. Worldwinner: 168.25 (skill games)
6. Popcap.com: 120.72 (casual games)
7. Millsberry.com: 115.46 (casual games, virtual world - kinda. Part of General Mills)
8. Gamehouse.com: 102.80 (casual games)
9. BigFishgames: 94.79 (casual games)
10. Shockwave.com: 82.66 (casual games. Part of MTVnetworks)
11. Iwon: 55.51 (casual games + sweepstakes. Part of IAC)
12. Club Penguin: 54.51 (kids virtual world. Part of Disney)
13. Funbrain.com: 45.35 (kids educational games)
14. Miniclip: 42.55 (Flash games)
15. Webkinz: 42.38 (kids virtual world)
16. Addicting Games: 29.91 (Flash games)
17. Ign.com: 17.03 (hard-core games news. Part of Fox)

Looking at this list, the first thing I thought of is a quote from Andrew Pedersen, GM of Pogo.com in a presentation he gave at Casual Connect last year, which is from memory some I'm probably mangling it.

Games are the honey, but community is the glue.
The top three sites on this list have extremely deep community features. However, it looks like money can be nearly as powerful of a draw since skill gaming sites are 4 and 5, so I'll coin a new aphorism.

Game are the honey, but they're not paying me enough at this stupid job, so I better earn some money on your site, dammit!

Not as catchy.

I will also note the absence of hard-core games, that's not due to any lack of addictiveness on their part, in fact, hard-core game are generally more addictive, but they are accessed through a downloadable client and not through a web browser.

Also, it's interesting to note that Fox doesn't have more of a present in casual games. Perhaps, they might be a potential acquirer down the line.