The FINANCIAL — The study made by The FINANCIAL over only two Georgian and one foreign domain online gaming web-sites estimates to 1,130, 332 registered users playing different types of games daily.
Georgia takes 15th position around the world on Gamezer.com, one of the most popular online gaming site (offering free Billiards, Chess, Checkers, Gladiator) – visits from Georgia: 1,014,332 of 71,392,402 total. Out of which visits from Tbilisi amount only to 923,183, the rest goes to Rustavi with 51,751visitors, Kutaisi-20,188, and Batumi-14,226.
From the rest two major Georgian sites, namely yoo.ge and games.jeje.ge, number of visitors total up to 116 000. Most of the games are made in overseas studios whilst only dozens account to Georgian ones.
The revenue from ads reach over 150 000$ for yoo.ge, $3mln on Gamezer.com whereas Global games market is worth over $100bn (*the source of the latter Avista Partners, Trusted adviser of digital media).
Yoo.ge was created in 2006 by Lasha Kurtsikidze, 22 year old young professional who now lives in Toronto, ON, Canada.
As Lasha stated in an interview with The FINANCIAL, he left for Toronto, ON 3 years ago and at present he works with programming, design, and marketing in a studio. He also noted that he acquired computer skills himself in Georgia and made yoo.ge a catchy web-site, embodying cheerful name itself.
“I’ve to allege that Georgians didn’t have a luxury playing games on national domain (.ge) herein the first 5000 players were the lucky few. Hereafter the growth rate hasn’t dropped and now the site has 100% growth offering new spanking games provided by various studios”, says Lasha.
“By now we have more than 12 000 types of games provided by world famous studios like Playhub, Playpink, etc. Once the games are programmed and ready to be fully played, these studios send them to us. The thing is, these studios put animated ads while the game is loading and therefore make reasonable income, then they provide these games to us to spread and to bring some profit to us as well”, Lasha told The FINANCIAL.
Yoo.ge is visited by 30 000 players every day, out of which 85% are Georgians whilst others from UK, Russia, and U.S. The number of registered users is 86 000 who frequently visit the site to find new plays and enjoy their time spent on internet gaming.
According to statistics, 70 percent of players are adults, then come teenagers and lastly 10-15% are elder ones visiting the web site directly from their offices or home.
A person spends at least 15 minutes once entering yoo.ge. The most active period of the day is evening when all get back home tired and want to entertain themselves.
“Since yoo.ge was founded it has already earned over 150 000$. I expect more revenue as the number of players goes up drastically herein making more income only from those ads shows.
Georgian original movies are rarely found at yoo.ge, only about five or six. Almost all of the games are made by Flash Player or Shockwave,” says Lasha Kurtsikidze, creator and administrator of yoo.ge.
Another most popular free online game site counts 30 000 players daily. As the administrator David Jejelava says, least of the users get registered but they simply visit the web site and choose the game to play.
“In general 80-90% of the web-site surfers are Georgians while the remainder amount to 10-15% throughout the world. They all regularly visit jeje.ge, which gets updated with new games almost every day”, says David.
“The age group of jeje.ge players ranges from 4 to 20 years and the majority is made up of people over 20-25 who play directly from their offices.
There are over 7000 types of games at jeje.ge that are all foreign made whilst Georgian ones with Georgian script are found very few.
In Georgia there have been different initiatives as well on creating game making studios. In fact they worked for some time but due to lack of financial support all of the projects failed like www.333.ge and others”, notes David Jejelava.
“The web-site games.jeje.ge came about five to six years ago and within two years we had been able to sustain growth rate even in line with the number of internet users in Georgia.
The ads are the main source of our income (at games.jeje.ge) as well as for any other gaming sites. The price of single static banner is 200 Gel, while the price for an animated one amounts to 250 GEL, including VAT”, says Jejelava to The FINANCIAL.
According to Alexa.com statistics, jeje.ge has 64631 traffic rank in the world. The site is getting 17019 page views per day and makes USD 53.06 daily. Jeje.ge is hosted in Georgia at Rustavi 2 Online data center. Estimated worth of jeje.ge is USD 38733.8 according to Website outlook. Its visitors also tend to consist of low-income, educated people browsing from home.
As for the Gamezer.com, which is quite well-known for Georgian players, counted 2,334,755 visits on September 1, out of which absolute unique visitors amounted to 1,019,262. (*Google Analytics).
“Gamezer.com Multiplayer Online Games was launched in 2006 with 5,000 users a day and about 600 users online during peak time,” says Yevgeny S., Gamezer.com team.
Annual revenue from advertisements amounts to approximately 1.3 million USD, and is rapidly growing over days. (Click cost on ads bring about: 0.02-0.05 USD).
“Users find playing games and chatting there even more interesting. On the web-site we have activated forums as well but they aren’t popular as much as this feature is used generally for support purposes”, says Yevgeny S.
According to Alexa statistics, cost of Gamezer.com is roughly estimated to $3 Million, it has 47 incoming links according to Google, it has a daily ads revenue estimated to $4690, its web technology is PHP/5.2.9, it has a page view of about 1248581 per day, its number of indexed pages in Google is 75, it has 25,000 incoming links according to Yahoo and finally it has a Google Page Rank of 4.
Global games market cost over $100bn (*source Avista Partners)
It’s broken down as follows:
Nintendo – $34,959m
Other PC/Console (w/out Nintendo) – $33,223m
Online – $23,457m
Mobile – $8,257m
Retail – $3,110m
Payment Services – $1,368m
Distribution/Accessories – $311m
Outsourcing – $255m
As Avista Partners evaluate there are multitudes of other avenues that allow new types of games to exist such as free-to-play MMORPGs and games sold solely through the internet from developer to consumer. They predict that the value of Mobile gaming will continue to rise, but retail and distribution could be stagnating overtime.
More than a hundred million people play games online and market and economic importance for these games continues to grow.
Online social games, like Farmville and Mafia Wars, are the second most popular online activity in the United States, even more popular than email.
On Facebook 40 percent of its 500-million users say they play online games. And all those online gamers are translating into big money. Hundreds of millions of dollars in virtual products for social gaming will be sold in the United States in 2010.