Mainstream Money: Casual Games Double Ad Revenue


Casual gaming is on the rise for one simple fact: there are more gamers than we think. According to a study by Forrester Research, about 51% of people over the age of 30 play online games. That’s why larger companies spent over $150 million advertising on casual game sites in 2006.

When most people think about playing games, they think of hoodie-wearing kids drinking Mt. Dew and failing at sports, which sure, is a part of it, but they never think of people like themselves. Since the dot com bust, ad revenue isn’t quite what it used to be, so casual game companies had to resort to other means of making their hard cash. However, lately, asdvertisers have been coming back. In this article by the New York Times, A DFC Intelligence report shows that $150 million in advertising was spent on casual gaming sites as compared to $74 million in 2002. So, why has it increased so drastically? Casual gaming sites attract the consumers that large companies are interested in: women.

Big Fish Games, makers of the popular Mystery Case Files series, reports that over 75% of their 25 million unique visitors each month are women. Larger companies desire this kind of exposure over something like, say XBox Live for instance, because of the friendlier atmosphere. No one wants to associate their product with a 12 year old kid telling you what kind of relations you should have with your mother. Is this the year of the online, casual game? Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but either way it’s a good time to be involved with that business.


Jon R.

Is it that they attract the supposedly elusive female market, or that they just attract those not up on the latest ad-blocking plugins for Firefox?

You know, i find it extremely amusing that most of these “casual” deals that are so profitable are completely under my radar. Seems like they’re under the radar of a lot of other “hardcore” gamers too. Seems like both sides are fairly ignorant of the other.

And yet, even with that, the casual side sounds like it’s doing better relatively.

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