Online Gaming Surges During Economic Recession

As the economy here in America creeps back into gear, the online gaming industry is reaping the benefits. According to a new survey, video game addicts who aren't already turning their attention to the tube (or even a subset of those who are) are looking to low-cost online games to pass the time.

Industry tracker ComScore found that around 87 million US Internet users visited online video game sites in May, which is a 22% increase from the same month last year. We'd heard that the economy was forcing more users to remain planted at home, but wow--22% percent! According to ComScore, the "continuing surge in online game play was attributed, in part, to people opting for cheaper entertainment alternatives in grim economic conditions."

Edward Hunter, ComScore gaming solutions director, noted that the "amount of online play is growing 10 times as fast as the overall US Internet population, with nearly one of every two users getting in the game." To no one's surprise, Yahoo! Games was ranked the top spot for online play, with the unique number of visitors surging to 19.4 million in May, a 6% increase from the same month last year. Similar spikes were seen across the web, hinting that more individuals were staying home to find entertainment rather than going out.

It's somewhat interesting to think how the gaming sector has benefitted from a recession; at first glance, it's easy to assume that folks would put away gaming during times where money was tight, but on the contrary, folks have taken the opportunity to put away the Frequent Cinema Viewing cards and focus their dollars on at-home entertainment, video games included. Lucky for you, Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo!
rapid1 5 years ago

I think the entire gaming market as well as a very large percentage of the technology world as a whole will follow this kind of pattern. I of course am somewhat biased as I have played MMO's for many years now (Since 2 weeks after the release of EQ1). I have played the largest percentage of mmo's, and also been involved as a GM and beta tester on many game platforms for many titles.

I think in many ways this follows the path of technology in a strange way. As the technological world becomes and adheres to a more mobile solution this tie's in, on a differing front. With broadband usage an availability becoming wider as a scope, why would I not want to play with real people.

Think about it this way would I prefer to play a game by myself or with someone else? I can play an online game with others anytime I want. With the mobility factor I can do it anywhere at any time.

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