Gamasutra is running and interesting story about the biggest browser-based game sites where we can learn some pretty amazing numbers measured by ComScore such as "Total player time with browser-based online games increased 42 percent in 2008"... interesting!
"According to its latest study, the online game category has gathered 86 million total visitors as of year's end, up 27 percent. Americans spent 4.9 percent of their total internet time in 2008 playing online games, says ComScore, who surveyed its large group of Internet users to extrapolate the data. This figure is up notably from 3.7 percent in 2007."
"Yahoo! Games ranked as the most visited site in the category with 19.5 million visitors (up 20 percent), followed by EA Online with 15.4 million visitors (up 21 percent), and Disney Games' set of sites, with 13.4 million visitors (up 13 percent)."
The article notes that while the online advertising market in general is perceived to be declining overall, online games are attracting more display ads. "This doesn't equate to more ads cluttering up online games, ComScore maintains - the number of ads per page view is actually down 17 percent, meaning advertisers are getting more eyeballs and more exposure in online games for fewer total ads".
But the most interesting part of the article is ComScore's director of gaming solutions Edward Hunter's prediction: "It also means that we will probably start to see a shift in the monetization model [...] This will be hugely underscored by 2008 technology developments allowing full-blown immersive 3D in the browser".