Game development by the numbers


popcap.jpg A new survey conducted by Newzoo for casual gaming developers PopCap Games has discovered that, as far as European gamers are concerned anyway, there simply is no one platform that is dominant. I appreciate that may come as something of a surprise when you look at the money that gets spent on console games compared to other platforms, but the fact is they split their gaming time between many different devices.

The survey revealed that European gamers will split their available gaming time pretty much down the middle, allocating the same amount of playing between consoles, web-based casual gaming sites, social network games, mobiles phones and portable consoles and PC games. No one single games platform could muster more than 50% of playing time.

According to Paul Breslin, General Manager for PopCap Europe, the results should quite clearly fire a warning shot to developers that "a one size fits all strategy for Europe doesn't work as there are quite different platform gaming habits, needs and expectations between France, Germany and the UK". That said, Breslin admits that the games market is clearly still maturing and has by no means finished evolving yet. "From a publisher's perspective, this shows the importance of having diversity and multi-platform solutions" Breslin says, in order to "reach individual markets in these important regions".

Other findings from the National Gamers Survey that may be of interest to games developers include:Half of all adults in the United Kingdom, France and Germany play games. In fact more than 153 million men and women are estimated to play, with the UK having the highest ratio of gamers (68% of men, 59% of women) followed by Germany (63% of men, 54% of women) and France (61% of men and 52% of women).
When it comes to money though, the French spend the most per player on games at an average of $36.71 per month. This is more than the United Kingdom ($30.62) or United States ($28.81) and leaves Germany blowing in the wind on just $22.88 per gamer per month.
The US does, however, spend the most on gaming overall with a staggering $21.73bn per year leaving the pockets of gamers. Germany is the next biggest global gaming economy on $6.58bn followed by the UK on $5.92bn and France with $4.61bn.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, as far as Europe is concerned anyway, games are most popular amongst 10-20 year olds with 87% of them gaming in the UK, 81% in France and 78% in Germany. Equally unsurprisingly, relaxation and unwinding was the number one reason that Euro-gamers play whereas when it came to mobile games there was more of a shock: most people play mobile games simply because they are bored.

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Davey Winder

I've been a freelance word punk for more than two decades and for the last few years an Editorial Fellow at Dennis Publishing. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011. As well as working for DaniWeb I have been a Contributing Editor with PC Pro (the best selling IT magazine in the UK) for twenty years.

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