Casual games rake in $2.25 billion

The Casual Games Association (CGA) has released its Casual Games Market Report 2007. The report highlights trends of interest in the casual games market.

The CGA claims that the casual games market is now raking in $2.25 billion per year in revenue, and is growing at a staggering 20 percent. More than 200 million gamers play casual games on the Internet each month, according to the report, and a slight majority of them are women — 51.7 percent. Women make up an even higher percentage of casual game players who pay for their games — 74 percent.

Casual gamers who pay for subscriptions average 7 to 15 hours of online play a week, so while they may be solidly in the “casual” genre, they’re often playing with a frequency that rivals “hardcore” gamers.

Employers take heed, and take heart: The heaviest times of day that casual gamers play is from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM, and during their lunch breaks — from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.

So unless your employees are taking three hour breaks to play Tetris, chances are they’re remaining productive and are having fun on their own time, not yours. To that end, the CGA reports that most casual games are played for five to 20 minutes, though it’s popular for gamers to play one game after another for several hours consecutively.

There’s good news for Mac casual game fans, too. The most popular casual games include many titles that are available for the Mac. Tetris, for example, ranks near the top of the list, along with PopCap Games’ Bejeweled series. The Diner Dash franchise from PlayFirst is another consistent hit that makes its appearance both on Mac and Windows platforms, along with Big Fish Games’ Mystery Case Files.

Keeping that in mind, the CGA reports that the rapid growth of the casual games market has prompted companies to create games for more audiences across more platforms, including the Mac.

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