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Release of New Research Study (November 2014)

We are delighted to announce the release of our second independently commissioned research into social games.

The new commissioned research addresses gambling concerns around social games and young people in “social casino” games. As you may know this is a genre of social game based on well known casino style games but where money cannot be won and users do not have to pay to play.  The model for these games (e.g. Social Slots) is the same as for other freemium games; businesses monetize via in-app purchases and in-game advertising.

Dr Rohan Miller, Senior Lecturer at The University of Sydney has led the research team. We granted Dr. Miller and his team access to a large-scale data snapshot of our members’ freemium games.

The results are striking. The data grab shows that a tiny proportion of under 18’s are playing social casino games and even fewer are paying to play.  The low level of paying play amongst under 18’s challenges the claim made by some that social games companies groom young people for commercial gambling.

Clearly, any activity when played to excess has the potential to cause harm and social games are no exception.  However, Dr Miller’s report shows that it is better to address the issues as they are from the point of evidence.

Commitment to future research projects to promote understanding of our sector is a core commitment in our role as the voice of the social games industry and we would also welcome your feedback from this work.

As we encounter policy and regulatory issues across new growth markets, we will continue to highlight the need for high industry standards, evidence based policy and a proportionate approach to regulation.

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A New Industry Profile  (May 2014) 


The ISGA is committed to ensuring we understand the way in which social games are played and the impact they may have. In order to help inform our understanding, in October 2013 the ISGA commissioned independent research into the evolution, use and impact of social games.

On 27 May 2014 the ISGA is pleased to announce the launch of the research. The research undertakes both a review of existing academic literature and data as well as a new survey of consumer behaviour and perceptions across Australia, the UK, France and the US. We hope that this wide-ranging study will help explain what the social games sector is, who is playing and offer new perspective on social games and their impact.

Key findings include; the growing contribution of social games to the digital economy, a look at how people play social games and how often and how much they pay for them. The report also analyses the purported connection between social games and real-money gambling.

Importantly, we hope that the research will bring clarity to the discussion surrounding social games and help to inform a solid basis for constructive dialogue between industry and key stakeholders.

As part of its ongoing commitment into researching the impact and reception of social games, the ISGA is also pleased to announce the commissioning of a new independent research project, which will focus specifically on issues of concern surrounding social games and younger users.

You can download: