Social gaming to be $1 billion industry in 2011, advergames incoming

eMarketer Pie Chart
eMarketer Pie Chart

In somewhat unsurprising news, social gaming will grow into a $1 billion market in 2011, according to a report released today by eMarketer. The report estimates that virtual goods will bring in $653 million this year alone. Yes, social games are growing, but what's the real news, you ask? Paul Vernan, the author of the eMarketer report , claims that advertisers will spend a whopping $192 million on games like FarmVille by Zynga. While some of that will go to things like in-game promotions and the like, more and more advertisers are slowly catching onto a growing trend.

"Rapid growth in ad spending will help its share of total revenues grow from 14.1% in 2010 to 20.5% in 2012, when it will surpass lead-generation offers as a source of developer revenues," Vernan writes. "Such offers have been a powerful force in the social gaming market but are losing favor as marketers use games for more branding-oriented efforts."

In other words, more of those dastardly advergames are likely to sprout up. (I hate to be petty, but we so called it.) While advertising will surely grow, virtual goods sales will still bring in the most dough with nearly 60 percent of total revenue. "We expect to see more branded virtual goods as social gaming matures over the next two years," Vernan adds. And we'll be ready for them, don't worry about that.

[Via TechCrunch]

[Image Credit: eMarketer]

What do you think of a potential deluge of in-game advertising and outright advergames? Do you think either have the potential to be compelling or interesting? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.