Monday, August 25, 2008

Ad-Supported Online Gaming Pulled in $800 Million Last Year

According to the recently formed PC Gaming Alliance, online PC gaming hit 4.8 billion dollars in revenue, of that 800 million was from ad-supported games.

For now, most social games are monetized through advertising. It's nice to know that there's at least $800 million dollars out there looking for games to support. I'm fairly certain that figure has been growing consistently year after year, I believe Alex St. John, CEO of casual games company, WildTangent has indicated so in one of his many talks. Regardless, I'd happily predict that the ad-supported games market will reach 1 billion dollars this year. And I'll say that despite the downturn in the online market...yep, I'm pretty brave.

Tellingly, the Asian market, where free to play games are the norm, was the main driver of growth in the PC gaming market, generating nearly half of the 10.7 billion dollar PC gaming revenue.

Sponsored Games on Facebook

Recently, I've been seeing quite a few ad-sponsored games on Facebook. Ad-sponsored games are games created and branded for a specific sponsor, as opposed to a games surrounded by banner ads. They are also different than existing games that allow a company to sponsor them for a fixed period of time, as Vampires/Werewolves did with a movie tie-in for the horror movie, Underworld.

Inside Social Games has reviewed of a couple of sponsored games recently. They weren't impressed. That's unsurprising as sponsored games are rarely well-designed. Parking Wars, an ad-sponsored game (sponsored by A&E, created by Area/Code) is the rare exception.