Representatives from the Casual Games Association (CGA) have released preliminary findings from the group's 2007 Casual Games Report. The report indicates significant growth, with a shift towards casual games within the overall games playing audience.
The preliminary findings indicate that although the profile of casual gamers is broadening women still make up 74 percent of all paying players online, with male participation half that for free casual titles. The most popular titles in 2006 were found to be Mystery Case Files
, Diner Dash
, Cake Mania
The report also indicates that the number of games being submitted to major online portals has doubled over the past two years, with an increase in casual style games for home and portable consoles - as well as the internet, PCs, mobile phones and PDAs.
The last year has also seen a rise in new capital investment in casual games. The study estimates that in the last year investors spent over $200 million to acquire interest in casual game industry assets. This includes more than $35 million in massively multiplayer online casual games.
"The casual games industry has been a sleeping giant, but now it's becoming part of every household and a favorite pastime for both young and old, individuals and families," said Jessica Tams, managing director of the CGA. "We are witnessing a resurgence of something very basic: fun. Gamers have gravitated to casual games because they offer a different and engaging side of gaming that is fun, inexpensive, and mentally stimulating."
The full Casual Games 2007 report will be completed in the early autumn and will include aggregated data from casual games developers, publishers, distributors and retailers. Further information can be found at the CGA website