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Online gaming goes up by 10 percent in US

March 4, 2010

According to Gamasutra a new report by research firm NPD Group, online gaming has increased by 10 percent since 2009.

In the report titled “Online Gaming 2010 Report,” an average of 20 percent of all games purchased by gamers who are online were bought digitally. This is up 19 percent from the same 2009 study and up 18 percent from the 2008 study. Though online game hours have increased, 54 percent of gamers age 2 and older personally play games online, down from 56 percent in 2009 and 55 percent in 2008.

Despite this, the NPD survey said gamers spent an average of eight hours per week playing online games, up from 7.3 hours the previous year. This makes up for the fewer players playing online games. Or in other words, there are fewer people playing but they are playing longer.

Information from this survey shows that, even in a post-recession economy, online gamers purchase games regularly.71 percent of online gamers purchased or received one game over the 2009 holiday season, or calendar Q4. The buying habits of this group did not significantly change between 2008 and 2010.

“This suggests that online gamers’ purchasing behavior may not have been impacted significantly by the recession and may bode well for future pockets of economic weakness,” the NPD report said.

As for on what actual system online gamers said they play on, the PC took more than the majority. According to the report, 85 percent of online gamers said they use PC to play online. On the console front, the Xbox 360, for the third year in a row according to NPD, is in first place among online console gaming with 48 percent of online gamers saying they use the 360 for online gaming.  The PS3 and the Wii are even in online gaming usage with 30 percent of online gamers using those systems to play online. The PS3 increased by 10 percent from 2009.

The 360, PC and PS3 have the most hours used among respondents with 7.3, 6.6 and 5.8 hours per week, respectively.

[Thanks Gamasutra.]

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