World of Warcraft is an Online Gaming Gnome

A story on TechCrunch is reporting on figures just released by comScore that the worldwide online gaming community has reached over 217 million players. The study took into account all the sites that provide online or downloadable games, but excluded gambling sites.

It seems that online games are extremely popular. 217 million users is approximately a quarter of the total worldwide online population. It also dwarfs the number of subscribers of the most popular MMO gaming worlds, World of Warcraft and Second Life. The biggest gaming site with over 53 million unique visitors is Yahoo! Games. MSN came in at second place with 40 million unique visitors.

Granted, most of these players play games like Bejewelled and cards, but it goes to show that online gaming is big. Much bigger than what we see with our favorite games, and much of it is casual.