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Digital Games Reach Mass Appeal as Growing Mobile and Social Networks Bring ‘Anytime, Anywhere’ Casual Game Play

PlayFirst and Frank Magid Associates Release First Comprehensive Look at Casual Game Play Behavior Across Three Key Platforms

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PlayFirst® Inc., a leading publisher of engaging interactive entertainment, and Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc., a leading market research and consulting firm, today released the results of the first comprehensive study of digital game play behavior across the three major platforms for casual gamers: social networks, mobile, and computer games. The proprietary national study reveals that two thirds of American adults play some type of digital game, and one out of three regularly play casual games on social networks, smartphones, or computer platforms. Additionally, amongst game players, nearly 80% of those 18-34 play casual games regularly and fully 80% say they enjoy playing games more than watching movies, listening to music, and reading books, newspapers, or magazines.

"Gaming is a cross-generational, cross-platform activity that's ubiquitous, yet requires unique and targeted experiences to be successful. Different groups value different things on different platforms, and by honing in on those differences, a multi-platform publisher can further optimize its product strategy."

Breaking down the data further reveals three key trends:

  • Cross-platform play is making casual gaming an 'anytime, anywhere' experience.
  • While digital gaming is becoming ubiquitous, different age and gender groups have distinctly different attitudes and preferences.
  • Social networking and social gaming are stealing time away from traditional videogames.
The Rise of Cross-platform Game Play

With the extraordinary growth in mobile applications and social networks, casual digital game play has proliferated to the point that it is truly an 'anytime, anywhere' experience and a majority of game players enjoy their games on more than one platform. Specifically:

  • 87% play games on PC/Mac platforms
  • 50% play games on Facebook
  • 28% play games on Smartphones
  • 52% play on at least two of the three platforms
  • 14% play on all three platforms
Attitudes Vary by Gender

The research also reveals some striking gender-based attitudinal differences toward digital gameplay:

  • When it comes to gameplay, 90% of women rank 'entertaining' and 77% rank 'easy to understand and play' as their preferred game elements. For men, the two highest preferred game elements are 'challenging to finish' (79%) and 'makes me feel like I accomplished something' (75%).
  • Facebook game players are more likely to be millennial women, where as iPhone game player are more likely to be young men.
  • While women play a lot of games, it's an activity rather than part of their identity: nearly 60% of female players don't consider themselves a "gamer".
  • Men have no problem with the label "gamer" as nearly 40% of men who play games strongly agree they are gamers.
  • More then two in five (42%) of women prefer games they can play while multi-tasking, whereas well over half (58%) of men prefer games with state-of-the-art graphics and technology.
Conclusions

"Casual digital game play has truly become a pervasive part of the American lifestyle now that we can take our games with us anywhere and play them anytime," said Mari Baker, president and CEO of PlayFirst. "The popularity of emotionally engaging casual games is exploding due to the convenience factor mobile and social platforms bring to game players of both genders and all ages."

"The face of gaming is evolving to a broader group more representative of the overall population," said Mike Vorhaus, president of Magid Advisors, a unit of Frank N. Magid Associates. "Gaming is a cross-generational, cross-platform activity that's ubiquitous, yet requires unique and targeted experiences to be successful. Different groups value different things on different platforms, and by honing in on those differences, a multi-platform publisher can further optimize its product strategy."

About the Study

The national survey of 2,075 respondents, including males and females ages 18 and over, was conducted between June 4-12, 2010 and roughly mirrors the US population in age and gender. The study was conducted by Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc., a leading research-based strategic consulting firm that helps clients become profitable by solving problems and helping them take advantage of opportunities. Magid brings unique frameworks for solving problems and seizing opportunities to each engagement, all informed and driven by unparalleled consumer and stakeholder research, market knowledge, and experience-based perspectives. To view the accompanying details and findings of this study, visit: http://www.playfirst.com/content/digital-games-research.html.

About PlayFirst

PlayFirst, a leading publisher of emotionally engaging interactive entertainment, is committed to providing compelling experiences that always delight customers. By creating engaging story worlds that capture the imagination, PlayFirst teams publish quality gaming experiences across popular platforms worldwide including PC, Mac®, iPhone®, Facebook, and consoles. The company's game portfolio includes world-renowned titles, such as Diner Dash, Chocolatier®, and Dream Chronicles®. PlayFirst games are available in major retailers and on more than 500 sites in 20 languages. For more information, visit www.playfirst.com.

About Frank N. Magid

Frank N. Magid Associates is a leading research-based strategic consulting firm that helps clients become profitable by solving problems and helping them take advantage of opportunities. Magid brings unique frameworks for solving problems and seizing opportunities to each engagement, all informed and driven by unparalleled consumer and stakeholder research, market knowledge, and experience-based perspectives. For more information, please visit www.magid.com.

PlayFirst, Diner Dash, Flo, DinerTown, Wedding Dash, Cooking Dash, Chocolatier, and Dream Chronicles are registered trademarks of PlayFirst, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

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