Casual gaming revenues to top $1 billion by 2013

Social networking and community features enable gaming companies to expand

Online gaming companies should embrace social networking and community features as key strategies in continuing the rapid growth of the gaming market, according to international research firm Parks Associates. In its new report Networked Gaming: Driving the Future II, the firm forecasts the market for premium casual games will exceed $1 billion in revenues by 2013.

Parks Associates notes that social and community features can help companies in casual gaming expand beyond their traditional target demographic of women ages 35 -54. Offering features such as a persistent identity and integration with social network sites allows companies to maintain their core audience while broadening their appeal.

"Game companies should use social networks and gamer communities as marketing and distribution channels for their new and existing games," said Stuart Sikes, president, Parks Associates. "Gaming has proven remarkably recession -proof, so as companies try to capture subscriber dollars, these offerings will serve as differentiators in a very competitive market."

These features can also build gamer interest and loyalty among the growing number of free -to -play MMORPGs, which will include over 20 million gamers by 2013. The report recommends large game publishers should build cross -platform, gamer -centric networks. Online publishers should also leverage open -platform efforts like Facebook Connect and MySpaceID, allowing users to enter online gaming websites with their social network ID and share their online activities with their network of friends.

Networked Gaming: Driving the Future II analyzes a variety of networked gaming technologies and business models. The report includes company profiles, consumer data, and market forecasts. For information, visit or contact, 972 -490 -1113.

About Parks Associates
Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start -ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions.

The company's expertise includes new media, digital entertainment and gaming, home networks, Internet and television services, digital health, mobile applications and services, consumer electronics, and home control systems and security.

Each year, Parks Associates hosts executive thought leadership conferences CONNECTIONS™, with support from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA®), and CONNECTIONS™ Europe. In addition, Parks Associates produces the online publication Industry Insights in conjunction with the CONNECTIONS™ Conference series. | | |

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