Survey: Blame the 'Great Recession' for the free-to-play gaming boom

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Penny Pinch
It might be more than mere coincidence that the free-to-play (F2P) gaming scene blew up globally just as the economy tanked back in 2008. According to a survey conducted by online casual gaming portal ArcadeWeb, 29 percent of its gamers play more because it's free entertainment. Similarly, a hefty 25 percent play for the chance of winning real money for participating in F2P gaming tournaments.

A whopping 66 percent of the 1,435 ArcadeWeb tournament players reported that the "Great Recession" has driven them to play more games in general. And oddly enough, more men have turned to F2P gaming as a result of the global economic crash than women--62 percent to 48 percent, respectively. So, the bum economy has turned folks to free games, but why exactly?

Other than the obvious, 32 percent of respondents reported that stress relief was the main motivator for playing F2P games. Free gaming might be the new thing, but ArcadeWeb's players have bad news for game makers: They look to spend less--way less--in their F2P games of choice in the future. A scary (for some) 49 percent of F2P gamers look to spend "significantly less" on items and boosts within free games in the future. Hello, advertising?

Would you say economic issues drove you to F2P gaming too? Will ad-supported F2P gaming become the norm? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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