After exploding in recent years, the rate of audience growth for social games is now slowing considerably in the U.S., according to a new study.
The Magid Media Futures 2012
study has found that not only is user growth slowing for social games, but the industry's biggest demographic is playing them less, and gamers are spending less on them on average.
Research firm Frank N. Magid Associates found that 38 percent of social network users currently play social games, compared to 36 percent last year. And only 47 percent of the biggest category of social game players, females aged 12 to 44 years old, play them on a weekly basis now, as opposed to 54 percent in 2011.
And the study found that the average social network gamer will spend an average of $51 this year on them, compared to the $78 they spent last year. 34 percent of gamers also said that they plan to spend even less next year, while 22 percent said they will spend more.
Not all social game companies appear to be affected, though -- Zynga reported last month
that its revenues grew by a third year-over-year to $321 million ($292.8 million of that from its games, and the remainder from ad sales).
maker also grew its monthly active user count by a quarter to 292 million, thanks to big titles like Draw Something
and Hidden Chronicles --
that number has since fallen to 265 million players
on Facebook, though.