London (UK), 26 October 2009 – Online distribution and direct sales of games is rapidly expanding into the console and PC game market, traditionally serviced by retail. For the business of mobile games and games accessed via game portals direct online sales and distribution has always been key.
New data coming from the UK National Gamers Survey 2009 ( www.nationalgamerssurvey.co.uk) and identical surveys in the US and other EU markets confirm this and reveal new facts on different aspects of games industry’s hottest topic: “digital distribution”. Conducted by TNS and Gamesindustry.com, the survey found that 25% of all console users in the UK have downloaded and paid for complete games or extra levels via their console. 7% state that, when acquiring new games, they usually buy the game directly via their console. For PC games this figure is double: 14% of PC gamers are accustomed to buying and downloading directly online. Figures from the identical survey held in the US shows even more dramatic figures: 16% and 23%, respectively.
Game portals and mobile
19% of the UK population plays games on their mobile phone. 44% actually downloads new games and pays directly via their handset. The enormous reach of casual game portals – used by 32% of the total UK population - is due to the fact most games are free, but 20% of UK game portal players state they spend money on the portal. In the US this is even 33%. Paid subscriptions are the most popular in both countries but already 6% of all UK and US game portal players frequently buy premium games online.
Console and PC games
55% of the UK population plays games on consoles and 35% state they play PC games. 27% of UK console players state they download levels or complete games via their console, almost all have experienced paying for this. For Xbox 360 and PS3 the figures go up dramatically: 51% and 55% respectively; 25% for Nintendo Wii. When buying complete new games, 7% of all console players states they usually do so directly via the console. 14% of PC gamers pay and download games directly. As can be expected percentages are even higher in the younger age groups. [See attached chart or click on link for facts and figures].
Video content and demos
Online distribution is not only a factor in purchasing games. Almost 25% of UK console game players state that the availability of a downloadable trial version or demo is a crucial factor in their buying decision. This is close to the 30% for PC gamers that traditionally have online access. 45% of PS3 users downloads or accesses video content via their console. This is 41% for Xbox360 and a mere 22% for Nintendo Wii.
Game market revenues
Fast growing segments of the game market such as MMOs, mobile games and game portals are already attracting significant revenues through direct online payments. With the addition of console and PC game revenues shifting away from traditional retail, additional tools and approaches are needed to get the full picture of the games market.
Peter Warman, from Gamesindustry.com adds:“With the growing part of games being played and paid for online, a key way to monitor the complete games business is by asking consumers directly about their overall game behavior and spending. An additional advantage of this approach is insight across all platforms as the traditional divide between the online casual and core console market has evaporated.”
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Notes to editors about the Today’s Gamers surveys
The 2009 UK National Gamers Survey ( www.nationalgamerssurvey.co.uk) is part of a series of identical national nationwide surveys conducted by TNS and Gamesindustry.com in the Netherlands, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium and the United States with more than 13,000 respondents in total. The series is branded Today’s Gamers ( www.todaysgamers.com).
Five firms were partners in the survey's launch: RealGames (Zylom), Keesing Games, RTL Group, GamePoint and SPIL GAMES. EA Benelux and Wildtangent have recently acquired the data. Both the national and international reports are available as of this moment as well as raw data for custom queries. The UK survey was conducted among 2,226 respondents aged eight and above from June to July 2009.
For further information, summary reports and graphs please see www.todaysgamers.com
About Games industry.com and TNS NIPO Technology
Gamesindustry.com is the leading international information source for games, prospects, partnerships, jobs, market intelligence and investment opportunities related to the games industry. It provides matchmaking services and also assists investors, advertisers, traditional publishers and media firms in entering or participating in this dynamic market.
TNS NIPO Technology conducts ICT market research related to developments in the areas of internet, telephone communication, and consumer electronics for the sectors of both consumers and businesses.
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