Reston, VA - Online gaming has shot up in popularity over the last year, as consumers look for cheaper entertainment.
According to ComScore, sites attracted 87 million US visitors in May, up 22 percent on a year ago. Yahoo! Games topped the popularity list, with 19.4 million visitors, representing a six percent increase over the past year. Next was EA Online with 18 million visitors - up 34 percent - followed by Nickelodeon Casual Games with 14.8 million visitors, and WildTangent Network with 13.8 million.
GSN Games Networks did particularly well, growing 563 percent to six million visitors, mostly because of the addition of WorldWinner.com and CrazyMonkeyGames.com.
"Online gaming continues to be one of the top gaining categories over the past year, growing at ten times the rate of the total US internet population and reaching nearly one out of every two internet users," said Edward Hunter, comScore director of gaming solutions. "And the growth in the category is occurring not only at the top gaming destination sites, but also through viral distribution platforms, including widgets and applications."
Gamers are turning more and more to distributed content. Distributed content platforms can often reach audiences of a size comparable to online gaming destination sites, said Hunter. MochiMedia, for example, reached a combined audience of 16.9 million in May - more than all but two sites in the online gaming category.