Gaming – web beating consoles and distributed just getting started

By July 13, 2009Casual Games

Comscore data out on Friday shows that online gaming audiences grew 22% in the 12 months to May 2009, which contrast sharply with the 17% drop on console game sales over the same twelve month period.

Console gaming has long been the one area in which closed proprietary platforms have won over the long term against open standards based platforms.  If this trend continues then that anomaly will come to an end – which is what I think will happen.  It is impossible to separate out the effect of the recession in pushing people towards cheaper web options, or to know if once people have switched for cost reasons they will switch back when their finances get stronger, but my instinct is that PC experience is more than good enough now, and hence for many the shift will be permanent.

Furthermore, the trend towards more and more social games plays to the PC as the natural home for comms and social technologies.

Online games is a pretty mature business now – as you can see from the table below the reach is c50% of US internet users and four of the five largest players are big established companies.

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Distributed gaming, by contrast looks much more open from a startup perspective.  As you can see from the table below there are no established companies playing in this market and MochiMedia is the only one with greater than 1% reach.

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