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One in Four Internet Users Visit a Gaming Site

comScore released the results of a global study into online gaming, showing the number of unique visitors to these sites to have reached almost 217 million worldwide -- a year-on-year growth of 17 percent.

The comScore World Metrix study took into account all sites that provide online or downloadable games, excluding gambling sites. The sector attracted 28 percent of the total worldwide online population in May and recorded an average of 9 visits per visitor, according to Bob Ivins, EVP and managing director of comScore Europe.

"With one in four Internet users visiting a gaming site, playing games online is extremely popular. The fact that these websites are pulling in over a quarter of the total worldwide Internet population shows what a global phenomenon gaming has become. The potential of the online gaming arena should be especially appealing for advertisers, as the average online gamer visits a gaming site 9 times a month."

Yahoo! Games was the largest property, attracting 53 million unique visitors. MSN Games followed in second place, having grown by 16 percent since May 2006 to reach 40 million unique visitors in May 2007. Both properties provide a mixture of strategy, trivia, arcade, and board games, with puzzle and card games proving to be the most popular choices for gamers in both cases.

The fastest-growing Top 10 gaming property was WildTangent Network, a U.S. company that makes online and downloadable games, which grew by 398 percent year-on-year to attract 11.5 million unique visitors in May 2007. The site also attracted an average 12.2 visits per visitor, notably higher than any of the other top 10 gaming properties.

Clearly, WildTanget is a company to watch -- they deliver online and downloadable games to an expansive consumer audience through a network of partners comprising leading PC Manufacurers, ISPs, and Portals. Through distribution agreements with Dell, HP, and Toshiba their proprietary PC Game Console was bundled with over 20 million new consumer PCs in 2006. WildTangent also owns and operates WildGames.com, a leading consumer gaming portal, and supports over 8,300 affiliates.

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