A century ago, the term ‘games’ would have referred to either field sports or games like Chess. With the advent of technology and more recently, the Internet, the term has taken a new meaning. Online gaming has gained massive popularity over the last few years. People no longer play games in the comfort of their homes but also in cyber cafes and, as techies will vouch for it, in offices!
Online gaming offers a lot of flexibility to gamers – flexibility to decide where to play, when to play, what to play, with whom to play. With this kind of gaming, gamers do not need to install games on their computers or game consoles anymore. Furthermore, most of the online games are available for free. Online gaming is becoming increasingly popular as it sets a stage for social networking. Multi-players games make gaming competitive, hence more interesting. The latest trend in online gaming is community gaming. This April, Cafe website opened a social gaming service.
In August last year, Park Associates, a market research and consulting firm, published a report from its research on online gamers in the US. Based on its findings, the firm categorized gamers into six segments, namely, occasional gamers, incidental gamers, leisure gamers, dormant gamers, social gamers and power gamers. The report also declared that online gaming will become a 4-billion dollar industry by 2010 in the US alone.
The interactive world of the Internet was revolutionized by Flash and Java, making online gaming a lucrative and rewarding activity for netizens. The standalone computer games and video game parlors though still hold their ground, it is online gaming that is gradually cementing its roots in the ground.
Most of the online game portals generate their revenue from advertisements. Is it easy to host games online? Have you noticed the video game consoles lined up outside restaurants or in shopping malls? Have you even been to a game parlor? The coin-operated machines there are the original arcade game units. With the advent of the Internet, they took shape into online games, now easily facilitated by Flash, making it easier for websites to host such games.
Recently, big-shots like EA Sports have entered the online gaming market. Social networking websites are adding games to their features to attract gamers. Last year, in a report by the market research company, NPD Group revealed that sixty-two percent of all gamers play games online. In a recent report, it revealed that forty-two percent of the US population plays games online.
According to a February 2008 report by MMOGCHART, World of Warcraft, an online game devised by Blizzard has continued to dominate the subscriptions in the online-games’ market, with 62.3 percent of the subscriptions market share, with RuneScape following next with 6.9 percent.
Currently, with one-fourth of online gamers in the age group of 2-12, it is evident that this segment of gamers will demand more advanced and innovative games in the years to come, promising a tremendous rise in the online gaming market.