Four out of every ten internet users play online casual games, making for a total of 510 million gamers, according to a new report published by casual games portal Spil Games.
The firm has released a "2010 State of Gaming Report" based on data from comScore and the portal's own 130 million monthly active unique users. As a result Spil Games claims that twice as many users worldwide play online casual games as bought a games console in 2010.
Other highlights from the report include a breakdown of the most popular gaming categories among different demographics. Among girls the most popular subjects were "make over", "hairdressing" and "horses"; among women it was "quiz", "puzzle" and "time management". For teenage boys it was racing, sports and action.
The most popular categories with Europeans were racing and skill-based games, but for Americans the preference was for daily quizzes. "Competition, achievement, control, and showing off" were found to be the key attraction for teenage boys, who also indicated that communication during play was a key feature. Although girls in general left the most comments the most talkative were Italians, followed by the Dutch, Spanish, Russians and Americans.
Spil Games claims that its sites, which include games.co.uk, girlsgogames.co.uk and agame.com, averaged 400 million games a month or more than 150 new games every second. A total of 5 billion games were played in total during 2010.
"This year we've really seen casual gaming come of age," said chief marketing officer Oscar Diele. "We've pioneered the introduction of HTML5 as the technology of choice for mobile gaming, and we expect phenomenal growth in this sector in 2011. To think that five people a second are opening one of our games is, frankly, astonishing. It's great to know that the entertainment we provide is reaching so many."