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NPD: 10% of US social gamers have made virtual purchases

Survey claims 57m Americans are on the Facebook game bandwagon – 20% of the population

56.8 million Americans have played a social network game over the last three months, according to survey group The NPD.

This constitutes 20 per cent of the US population aged 6 and upwards. However, survey methodology was primarily focused on individuals already known to be social gamers.

The survey also found that 10 per cent of social gamers had spent money in a social game, and 11 per cent planned to in the future. These social gamers were purported to be laying down around 20 per cent less on gaming overall.

53 per cent of those claiming to have played a game on Facebook or a similar network were women and 47 per cent men, despite the popular theory that titles such as FarmVillle attract a predominantly female audience.

Additionally, over a third of identified social gamers claimed to be gaming ingénues.

"Although 35 percent of social network gamers are new to gaming, it's clear that a lot of existing gamers have been drawn into the social network gaming arena as well," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

"This impacts both the time they spend with other types of gaming, as well as the amount of money they’re spending on gaming. As more players are drawn into these games, the entire games industry is going to feel, and have to adjust to, the impact."

The NPD's methodology comprised a group of pre-identified social gamers from an earlier online survey, results from its own Games Acquisition Monitor from April and "data based on individuals who do not play social network games, but who are members/users of these sites."

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.