Online Games like FrontierVille and StarCraft 2 Show Extraordinary Growth in Bad Economic Times

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Online games such as FrontierVille and Starcraft 2 are extraordinary success stories in an industry that is now bigger than film and TV combined. Smaller independent companies not affiliated with the game creators offer game strategy help guides such as and

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Maybe the bad economy has helped online social games like FrontierVille because people need a cheaper form of entertainment. Maybe Starcraft 2 provides the escapist relief in this Great Recession that movies did during The Great Depression. In any event, the extraordinary growth in the global video game software market should remain strong in the coming years with revenues expected to climb from over $46 billion in 2009 to over $64 billion in 2013. And as these game audiences grow, a separate market for game related items, not affiliated with the game developers, is blossoming for much smaller independent game guide companies featuring things like Frontierville tips and Starcraft 2 strategies among others.These non-affiliated independent products represent a separate but significant industry for game strategy and tips guides.

Zynga, the company which created Farmville, Mafia Wars and the latest hit FrontierVille gives their games away free and makes their money selling add-on products. This business model has made them the one of the hottest companies in Silicon Valley. And the overall success of online games and social games has spurred on small companies not affiliated with the game developers selling strategy books and tip guides such as Frontierville Secrets or Starcraft 2 Secrets just to name a few.

Presently, 20% of the US population plays social games such as FrontierVille. These so-called Facebook games keep getting bigger by the day. Zynga’s newest game sensation FrontierVille has already surpassed 30 million regular players and that game has only been out since June 2010. Zynga says 215 million people play its games every month. Zynga’s games include mega hits like Farmville, Mafia Wars, Texas HoldEm Poker and the previously mentioned new hit sensation Frontierville. Yet Zynga is only 3 years old having started in 2007. Zynga games and others have probably helped fuel the incredible growth of Facebook, which now has over 400 million users. According to the company, Developer Analytics, more than 65 million people play Zynga games each day. Zynga's biggest hit to date is played by an estimated 75 million people each month and Zynga says a total of 215 million people play its games every month. Zynga games are huge on Facebook and Facebook Games are a huge driver of traffic and popularity on Facebook.

Here are some social game industry facts:

  • Gamers are made up of 53% females and 47% males.
  • The total US social gaming audience totals 56.8 million people.
  • In the case of Zynga games, the actual game is often free, but money is spent on in-game items from the company itself and on outside items from non-affiliated companies, such as on the websites and
  • A typical gamer is a 30 to 50 year old mother.

Another big success is the recently released StarCraft II Wings of Liberty by Blizzard Entertainment which was released in late July 2010. Starcraft 2 is a sequel to the original StarCraft from 1998. Starcraft II from Blizzard Entertainment is a confirmed blockbuster. On its first day of release, Starcraft II sold 1 million copies. And that does not include South Korea where Starcraft is huge and is a televised sport. By September 1st sales reached over 3 million games, making it one of the fastest growing games ever.

So, in the 19302s during the Great Depression, people found some escape from the grim realities of the day by going to the movies. Today it looks like internet gaming has replaced movies as the means of escape during this “recession” (which many observers think could be re-labeled a depression down the road) especially since movies are so expensive these days.

And if you haven't heard, even Hugh Hefner's Playboy Enterprises is getting in on the action with plans to launch a line of video games by the end of 2010.

FrontierVille® and Zynga® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Zynga, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. The product mentioned in this press release called FrontierVille Secrets is in no way associated with or endorsed by Zynga, Inc.® nor have they been reviewed, tested or certified by Zynga.

StarCraft® II and Blizzard Entertainment® are all trademarks or registered trademarks of Blizzard Entertainment in the United States and/or other countries. These terms and all related materials, logos, and images are copyright © Blizzard Entertainment. The product mentioned in this press release called Starcraft2-Secrets is in no way associated with or endorsed by Blizzard Entertainment®.

Republishing the press release without live links or in any altered fashion is prohibited and is an infringement of the copyright. However, reprinted with live links is permitted.

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Chaz Sanderson
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