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Analyst: Popularity of social games on the rise, industry will need to 'adjust'

Socialites learn gaming delights.

While core gamers are busy with recent summer releases, titles developed for social networks are growing increasingly popular. According to a recent survey conducted by the NPD Group, 20 percent of the U.S. population more than 50 million consumers have played game on social media sites.

Unsurprisingly, social games are attracting audiences that traditional platforms have been unable to tap. The NPD Group found that 35 percent of social gamers are new to gaming, while the majority of these players (53 percent) are female.

The NPD Group asserts the rise of social gaming will cause long-lasting ripples in the gaming industry. "[Social games] impact both the time [users] spend with other types of gaming, as well as the amount of money they're spending on gaming. As more players are drawn into these games, the entire games industry is going to feel, and have to adjust to, the impact, said Anita Frazier, an analyst at the NPD Group.

With many users flocking to social games, many core-focused publishers have begun acquiring developers of social titles. Walt Disney, for example, recently acquired Playdom, the third-largest social game developer.