The online games industry – A lucrative option in 2009

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If you are looking for new games to play online, then there is good news. The one industry that is posting record profits even during the dark days of economic recession is the online games industry. Not only in 2009, but the gaming industry has shown remarkable growth over the last decade, so much so that many online companies are concentrating on the traffic and revenue that their websites are getting from online games alone. A few years ago, online gaming used to be a niche market with some successes among gaming sites but today, leading developers are jumping on the bandwagon to get a piece of the pie with many people looking for new games to play online.

A current research from Interfax China, a business news company, revealed that the total revenue produced by online games alone in China will cross 2.5 billion dollars in 2010. Interfax added that online web games are almost as popular as other console based games and if current games such as World of Warcraft and Warhammer Online did not renew their target market, they might become unrelated to the new generation of Asian gamers.

The research further noted that the main source of revenue for these gaming websites was in game advertising. This model is fast becoming the leading trend among international gaming websites as free online games attract a sizeable chunk of web traffic and displaying small ads to these gamers means big bucks.

Capitalising this is another strange but lucrative revenue model which gaming companies are trying to come up – make money from cash-strapped kids who look for new games to play online. At the Login Conference in Seattle, various panellists were discussing the modes of revenues that the online games industry is researching and mobile payments of paid content is one them. David Marcus, founder of Zong – a mobile payment company suggested that many kids do not have money to play online games, but they have cell phones which are often paid by their parents. Therefore, introducing a billing system whereby gamers have to pay by entering their cell numbers could be a good option. Rob Goldberg of GMG Entertainment suggested prepaid gaming cards which parents can buy for their children to keep their gaming habits in check.

Whether these people are successful or not, the online games industry is here to stay. Yahoo! Games alone has witnessed a 25% spurt in internet traffic and they believe that much of this can be accredited to the current slowdown. People are looking for cheaper modes of fun and entertainment and playing free online games is definitely one of them. Surprisingly enough, even women are increasingly playing these games on the internet during small coffee breaks or while at home. Evidently, not only is the traffic rising but even the variety of gamers in increasing.

One flipside however, that the online games industry faces is that people continuously look for new games to play after getting bored of the same old ones, so developers end up making second rate games. Unless steps are taken to improve this, this growth can also trickle down soon.

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