The social gaming market is moving fast, as more companies take advantage of the growing online phenomenon. According to a new study by internet games research firm SuperData, the global social casino games market will reach $1.6bn in 2012 and grow to $2.4bn by 2015.
Powering the social casinos is monetisation 1.8 times greater than current social game revenue. In July 2012, paying social casino gamers spent an average $78 online compared to $43 by standard paying social gamers.
This is just the beginning. Revenue generated in casino games is largely from players purchasing virtual goods and as legislation starts to permit real-money gambling on social websites, this could become a complete game-changer.
Facebook is the main social gaming platform. Data complied by analytics firm Kontagent suggests that 13 percent of all Facebook’s gamers play casino games, up from 8 in 2011 and 6 percent in 2012.
Although real-money gambling is still not permitted on Facebook, it is something the California-based company is considering to diversify its advertising revenue model. In September, Gamesys launched the first real-money game for Facebook in the UK.
Real-money gaming platform, Betable stated, ‘real-money casino games earn 1,612x more per player per month than virtual currency casual social games’ and ‘real-money online poker earns 213x more per player per month than virtual currency poker.’
In terms of market jurisdictions, the US continues to lead the pack and contributes $660m of the total $1.6bn. Europe is second largest market worth $446m; with Asia at $311m, Latin America at $180.7m and Australia at $59.8m, ranked third, fourth and fifth respectively. However, the 35.4m monthly social casino players in the US, up 100 percent from 2010, is greater than the total population of Australia.
Social gaming developers that have largely benefited from the rapid growth of the market, now face competition from online and land-based gaming companies. Through acquisitions or newly formed interactive divisions, an increasing number of gaming companies are expanding their portfolio with social games.
According to Kontagent, the number of social casino players has doubled over the past two years and the average revenue per user is at least 40 percent higher than the average casual social gamer. It is therefore little surprise that data from SuperData suggests the social gaming market will continue an upward trend.