Active Users and Market Penetration for Kids VWs and MMOs

We’ll shortly be publishing the Q4 2012 update of the Universe chart. The Universe chart (for those of you that don’t know) visualises the virtual world and MMO marketplace showing cumulative registered accounts and average user ages for all the companies in the market. The slideshare presentation of the Q1 2012 version of the Universe chart is here.

All the usual suspects (Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, Stardoll, Fantage, Poptropica) will be in the Q4 Universe as well as newer (and growing) kids on the block such as Space Heroes, Skylanders and Pirate 101.

For the Q4 update presentation we’ll also be including our forecasts for active users and overall market penetration. Here’s a sneak-peak at the global active users and market penetration analysis. First up, active users.

We define Active Users as a created user account that has logged into a virtual world or MMO at least once in the quarter. Note that this analysis covers the age ranges of seven to 13 year olds.

The current market sweetspot of 11 and 12 year olds is clearly visible in the chart. Also apparent is the growing domiance of the Asian marketplace, driven by China, India and Indonesia.

The Western world regions of North America and Western Europe also play a pivotal role for the active user counts.

And, if you’re looking for an underserved market segment from an age perspective, the seven to nine year olds is certainly a sector to focus on. Expect some new entrants prepping themselves for launch in Q1 and Q2 of this year.

Here’s the data-table.

On an overall basis we forecast closing Q4 2012 unique active users of 66.4m globally. Asia accounts for 23.2% of the total, followed by North America with 17.6m and Western Europe in third place with 17.6m.

On an age basis, 12 year olds total 12.8m closely followed by 11 year olds with 12.7m.

Moving onto overall market penetration, we’v taken the active user numbers and divided them by the total addressable market sizes by region and age range. This is shown in the chart below on a major region basis.

Globally we forecast Q4 2012 market penetration for virtual world and MMO usage (for ages seven to 13) at 42.4%. Regionally, Australasia has the highest usage penetration with 78.8%, followed by North America with 70.9%.

Although currently having a low penetration of 36.4%, a key market to watch is Latin and South America.

This analysis, along with the updated Universe chart for Q4 2012 will be released shortly. Watch this space.

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