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Online gaming increases worldwide, with trends toward social and mobile games
The online gaming market is forecasted to grow by a high one-digit percentage point annually in the years leading up to 2017. By then, online gaming spending is expected to almost reach the level of console spending. At the same time, mobile games are predicted to be the fastest growing segment of the video game market. Game-playing on mobile devices has already become a major activity of Internet users worldwide, slightly ahead of online gaming. Also social gaming is a fast growing industry, taking up an increasing share of the total video gaming market. Both segments are forecasted to outpace the total online gaming market in terms of growth, increasing by around 20% annually.
Worldwide, over 40% of internet users play games online, with males accounting for slightly more than half of the total gaming audience. The Asia-Pacific region has the largest number of players, but North America and Europe lead in terms of regular engagement in game-playing. Regarding payment for playing, credit cards still dominate the gaming landscape, but the use of alternative payments such as E-Wallets is on the rise, and alternative payments dominate in emerging markets.
The top three gaming companies by revenues worldwide in 2013 were Tencent, Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts. Companies specializing in the fast-growing mobile gaming market are DeNA, GnugHo Online and Supercell. The leading online games by free-to-play revenues were CrossFire, League of Legends, Dungeon Fight Online and World of Tanks. In the social game category, the most popular gaming apps last year were Candy Crush Saga, Pet Rescue Saga and Farm Heroes Saga.
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