A recent report on CBC.ca shows that video game consumption is way up in Canada. In the six months between August 2011 and February 2012, Canadians purchased over 77 million video games, demonstrating that the market is taking off in a big way across the country.
The results were published by research firm NPD Group. It found that the rise in video game purchases equalled a 46% increase from the same period of time the previous year. It seems that more and more individuals across the country are hopping on board with the video game fad. As games continue to reach out to more mature audiences, these numbers are expected to continue to rise.
One thing that should be noted, however, is that downloadable demos and free games are also growing in popularity. According to the report, nearly 60% of all new video game acquisitions were free games. These include social games and free demos that are available throughout the online gaming world. So, while pay-for-play games are growing in popularity, free games may overshadow this rise.
“The market is showing growth,” says Darrell Ryce of NPD Group. “A lot of that is obviously coming from the free games."
The online gaming universe has made it easier for developers to release free versions of their games, and social gaming has had a huge impact on how willing users are to pay for their gaming experience. The gaming market is changing rapidly, from requiring players to pay $50 per game to accessing games for free from social gaming websites.
Bigger developers, who are used to selling their games in-store and online, may have to consider a new strategy when it comes to attracting a wider range of players. A popular route has been to offer free demos via online gaming networks. With a large portion of video game acquisitions being free demos, this tactic certainly seems to be working, and helps larger developers to compete with social gaming developers who provide free games.