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Casual Games: Big Reach, Small Bucks

  • GigaOm, Wednesday, October 31, 2007 1:45 PM

The"casual games" sector, an industry generating a serious $2.25 billion per year, according to the Casual Games Association, is growing annually at 20 percent. That's a healthy growth figure, especially when you consider that some 200 million people already play casual games. The nascent sector has also proved to be a great way for advertisers to reach everyone, as the ratio of men to women is a nearly even 48.3 to 51.7 percent.

Compared to the hardcore or "enthusiast" gaming sector, which consists of console gaming and massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft, casual gaming's $2.25 billion is a mere pittance: enthusiasts generate up to $20 billion per year with far smaller audiences.

So why isn't casual gaming being monetized better? Part of the problem could be a lack of consolidation. There are scores of gaming portals out there--many containing the same games--so the giants of the casual gaming sector, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL, would do well to scoop up the myriad small and mid-size players.

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