Social and mobile gaming is huge. That fact can't be disputed. What can be disputed, however, is a perception that people are increasingly playing games together. A new research study has found that to not be the case.
eMarketer released the results of a study conducted by AYTM Market Reserch today that surveyed U.S. Internet users about their gaming habits. Interestingly enough, gamers, despite being more connected with others than ever before, are still preferring to play single player games. They found that a majority of U.S. Internet users (57.8 percent) predominantly play single-player games. Social network-based games come in a close second, however, at 41.2 percent. Multiplayer games and mobile games bring up the rear at 33.7 percent and 30.3 percent respectively.
Gamers' desire to play alone also carries over to their communication habits. The study found that 29 percent of gamers never communicate with somebody online while playing games, and 30.9 percent only rarely ever communicate with others online. Those who always or mostly communicate with others online only make up 25.6 percent.
Even if gamers are still playing alone, they are embracing mobile games in a big way. The study found that 53 percent of U.S. Internet users play mobile games at least once a week. Console gaming comes in second place with 42 percent of U.S. Internet users professing to play their console at least once a week. Free-to-play games are all the way down at 27 percent, and subscription MMOs come in dead last at 10 percent.
So, what does this all mean? Despite people in the U.S. using the Internet more than ever, most still prefer to play games alone. The findings fly in the face of game makers who claim the future of gaming is social. It's true that social is becoming increasingly important to gamers, but those same gamers still seem to prefer single-player experiences more than other types of games.
Hopefully, this research will send a strong message against the trend of forcing gamers to interact with others to progress. It should only be one of many options, with one option specifically serving those who prefer to play games by themselves.