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This article was published on March 13, 2008

The booming online gaming industry

The booming online gaming industry
Reinout te Brake
Story by

Reinout te Brake

Reinout is well connected within the online global gaming and media industry. Currently he is a partner/group strategist at SPILL GROUP and Reinout is well connected within the online global gaming and media industry. Currently he is a partner/group strategist at SPILL GROUP and focused on establishing the world's largest online game-traffic company. Also Reinout is an advisor/boardmember of several companies and venture funds.

Hey you, yes, you! You are responsible for that huge buzz about online casual games! Since you are playing online games everywhere, whenever and so many times, you were helping in the past years to get a whole industry started. Do you actually know the term “casual games”, “ingame advertising”, “return on investment” and “venture capital”? We do. We, as in the online casual gaming industry. We are building games to please you as a player and make money of it. We try to understand your behavior in every way so we can develop specific games for men, women, boys and girls. Strategy games, role playing games, multiplayer games, arcade games and many more. You just have to choose or did we already know what you would choose?!

gamesgamesThe online casual gaming industry has grown the last years significantly because more and more sites are offering games to the public at large. Not only you will find these games on specific games portals like Miniclip, GamesGames, and Pogo, but you will find more of these games in social communities like for example Every day millions of games are being played online and therefore lots of companies did start to develop (often flash-based) games. These companies are located all over the globe, from China to USA, from Holland to India.

So I ask you just take a moment to think about it. What kind of games do you like? Where do you normally go to online to find these games? Do you (want to) pay for games or do you accept advertising around these games? All of these questions went already through the heads of those smart game developers and their marketing teams. They figured that these games are interesting marketing tools. You probably consider them just as nice playable games, but this industry is building on knowledge and experience on your behavior when it comes down to playing games online.

The PR departments are making overtime and point out to that industry that they are a big success then they get the attention of the men in nice suits. These people are called “investors” and their money is called “venture capital”. They look for interesting opportunities and try to keep the risks as low as possible. When these venture capital companies start to invest lots of dollars, the (entertainment) media will pick up on this. Exactly that is what you are reading these days in newspapers, magazines and Internet. You will read that games companies get millions of dollars to develop games for you! Yes for you can feel yourself special, because for you and your fellow online gamers money is being spend to create games that are specific targeted on all of you. It is our business to entertain you. And you like it, cause you spend more and more time online. Radio and TV are loosing “market share” to Internet.

The nice thing of a growing industry is that young people can make a career and therefore a living. Some start games portals with lots of games that you can play for free. Other are very gifted with talent to create games either just by doing it or study for it. Companies that started in the bedroom of a small apartment can have huge success when you and many others find their games attractive. The success is being noticed by companies like Apple, RealNetworks, Nintendo, Microsoft, Google, Disney, Facebook, MTV and other big multinationals. Familiar with the slogan “get the mass, grab the cash”? The more people they can offer games, the more they can earn. Ever heard of the term “social gaming”? No, dont worry, you will soon. Since lots of people are creating profiles online, you can now also play with and against other people online.

Many parents were so happy with A nice community that is safe for kids to spend time playing games and talk to their “friends”. Disney spotted this site and offered the creators hundreds of millions. The industry picked up on it and creates look-a-likes, sometimes more local or with more features. Other unique communities are for example for the girls there and for the boys.

Disney Pirates of the Caribbean OnlineIs the family fan of movie “Pirates of the Caribbean”? Well, now you can play the game-version online. So when the kids are ready with playing games and are to school or in bed, it is time for mom and dad. The industry did notice that women like to play games like Bejeweled, Zuma and Chuzzle. For the men games were created like RPG’s (sorry, “role playing games”) from World of Warcraft to PowerSoccer.

So next time when you are playing games, give it a moment to think about how that game appeared in front of you. Did you find that game or did the game find you. Think about it when you read an article or an interview that is all about casual games. Consider yourself part of a whole chain where people create and develop games, invest in game developers, do research about games, sell advertising around games and play games. An industry that is still at the very beginning but growing very fast. You are being part of it!

I guess that I speak on behalf of that whole industry when I say to all of you; thank you for playing games online, thank you for clicking on the advertising, thank you for giving your details so we have your gaming profile that makes us serve you with even better games that you will like and with more relevant advertising. Thank you on behalf of several investment companies worldwide that made a huge return on their investments, so they will re-invest this money in the online casual gaming industry. What seemed for you to begin with some nice playable games, is a serious business. By now you have learned some industry slangs, which would make you understand us, yes us! The online casual gaming industry!