Game On! Online Gaming Surges as Gamers Seek Out Free Alternatives in Tight Economy

Minutes Spent Playing Online Games Jumps 42 Percent versus Year Ago

RESTON, VA, January 28, 2009 – Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released an analysis of Americans’ usage of online gaming sites, which showed that the category has grown 27 percent during the past year to 86 million visitors in December 2008, while the total time spent playing online games has jumped 42 percent. Americans’ total share of Internet time spent playing online games grew from 3.7 percent in December 2007 to 4.9 percent in December 2008.

Yahoo! Games ranked as the most visited site in the category with 19.5 million visitors (up 20 percent), followed by EA Online with 15.4 million visitors (up 21 percent), and Disney Games with 13.4 million visitors (up 13 percent). The tenth most visited site, Spil Games, saw traffic surge 269 percent to 6.7 million visitors.

Top Online Gaming Sites
December 2008 vs. December 2007
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore Media Metrix
Total Unique Visitors (000)
Dec-2007 Dec-2008 % Change
Total Internet : Total Audience 183,619 190,650 4
Online Gaming 67,457 85,977 27
Yahoo! Games 16,184 19,468 20
EA Online 12,673 15,369 21
Disney Games 11,933 13,458 13
WildTangent Network 7,650 13,306 74 9,706 11,343 17
AOL Games 8,380 10,750 28
MSN Games 9,685 10,263 6 7,264 8,636 19 Games 6,020 7,092 18
Spil Games 1,821 6,715 269

“It appears that online, ad-supported gaming is one of the activities that has benefited during this economic downturn,” said Edward Hunter, Comscore director of gaming solutions. “Not only have consumers turned to outlets such as gaming to take their minds off the economy, but as they curtail their discretionary gaming-related purchases they are turning to free alternatives.”

Online Gaming Category Attracts More Display Ads

Despite a challenging online display advertising market, trends are looking remarkably positive for the online gaming category. From November 2007 to November 2008, the total number of display ad views in the Online Gaming category grew 29 percent to 8.6 billion. The increase in display ad exposures is due primarily to the increasing number of visitors to the category (up 30 percent), while the average person’s frequency of exposure has remained relatively constant at 127 ad views per person. Another positive trend is that the number of display ads per page view – a measure of “ad clutter” – has actually declined 17 percent.

Display Advertising Trends in Online Gaming Category
November 2008 vs. November 2007
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
Source: Comscore Ad Metrix
Online Gaming Nov-2007 Nov-2008 % Change
Total Display Ad Views (MM) 6,659 8,610 29
Advertising Exposed Unique Visitors (000) 52,066 67,834 30
Advertising Exposed Reach % 28.6 35.6 25
Display Ads per Page Viewed 1.00 0.83 -17
Average Frequency 127.9 126.9 -1
GRPs Total Population 2,271 2,913 28

“The growth in display ads in the online gaming category not only underscores the assertion that gamers are increasingly accepting of ad-supported games, but also that the advertising community is recognizing the value of this highly engaged audience,” added Hunter. “It is also likely that the advertising agency community will begin to demand more evaluations of campaign effectiveness in this space as spend and impressions continue to rise.”

About Comscore
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital .marketing intelligence. For more information, please visit

Andrew Lipsman
Comscore, Inc.
+1 312 775 6510