Study shows social gamers spend less time and money on console games

Social game players are spending less time and money on traditional console games, according to a survey sponsored by social game firm Kabam and conducted by Information Solutions Group.

The online survey of 1,412 gamers defy the conventional stereotype of social network gamers being middle-aged women. The survey showed that one of the rapidly growing segments on social platforms is the hardcore social gamer, who plays titles such as strategy, role-playing, or other hardcore games. The survey is very self-serving, but it points to little-known facts that show why Kabam, which focuses on hardcore gamers, has a real business on Facebook.

The nationally representative research survey found that these hardcore social gamers are younger and mostly male, very much in line with traditional gamer demographics. By contrast, many of Zynga’s players on Facebook are casual female players with little playing experience.

About 82 percent of the hardcore social gamers also play console games. These hardcore social gamers also play for a longer period of time than casual social gamers. As the games get better on Facebook, social games (such as Kabam’s Glory of Rome, pictured) are disrupting play on the traditional consoles.

One figure shows how social gaming growth is resulting in less time and money spent on other game platforms. About 27 percent of social game players who played games on other platforms say that they are spending less time on those platforms. They are also spending about 50 percent less money on console gamers. Kabam’s own customers report a 55 percent decline in their game play on other platforms. Those Kabam players spend 65 percent less on console games.

“Gamers are migrating their playing time and the dollars they spend to social games at the expense of console and other traditional gaming platforms,” said Chris Carvalho, chief operating officer of Kabam.

About 41 percent of U.S. internet users have played social games. That amounts to 98 million people in the U.S. The data shows that 61 percent of casual social gamers are women and 62 percent are over 40 years old. But 55 percent of hardcore social gamers are male and 57 percent are under 40, with an average age of 37. Both Kabam and Kixeye are targeting hardcore gamers on Facebook.

Hardcore social gamers play multiple games simultaneously, with 76 percent playing two or more at once. In fact, 47 percent of hardcore social gamers play three or more social games, while 28 percent play four or more games concurrently. Hardcore gamers also exhibit more engagement, or time spent per session. The research says 68 percent of hardcore gamers play three or more hours per day of a game. Only 43 percent of casual social gamers spend three or more hours a day on a game.

Information Solutions Group ran the survey from April 13 to May 2. It canvassed a group of people who play games and were 18 years old or over.