New York – Revenues from online games on social networks are
expected to grow 27.7% in 2011 and top $1 billion, up from $856 million in
2010, according to a report from market research firm eMarketer. The sector saw
a rapid rise in popularity last year, fueled by titles like Zynga’s
"FarmVille." Nearly 62 million U.S. Internet users are expected to
play social games monthly this year, up from 53 million in 2010.

The sale of
virtual goods represents the largest share of social games revenues, followed
by lead generation, and advertising.

Ad spending on social games is forecasted
to grown from $120 million last year to $192 million in 2011 and $271 million
next year.

"Forecasts of audience and revenue growth
present an opportunity for marketers to promote their brands through social
games," said eMarketer’s Paul Verna.

"Implementations include branded
virtual goods, custom games, virtual environments within existing games and
lead-generation offers. Some campaigns even combine virtual and real-world
items, expanding the gaming experience beyond social networks like Facebook and



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