Market research company The NPD Group has released a report entitled Social Network Gaming, which has found that 20% of the US population ages six and older (or 56.8 million people) have played a game on a social network in the past three months.
NPD identifies says the rate of adoption is relatively high for a new gaming activity, and according to the report, 35% of social network gamers are new to gaming, never having participated in any other type of online game before they started playing them on social networks.
While users can play these games for free, 10% of social network gamers have spent real money playing social games and 11% indicate that they are likely to make a future purchase. Social network games also have an impact on spending on other types of gaming activities – gamers report spending 20% less on gaming overall since they started playing social network games. The report also finds that many social gamers are not completely enamored by their online experiences, citing slow-loading games, performance issues and a tendency to become bored easily by the games as some of the drawbacks to playing in a social networking environment.