Online gaming is becoming more and more popular throughout the world but especially in Europe. Almost 6 million people in Europe have visited online gaming sites in January this year, this is over double from the previous year according to the net measurement firm Nielsen/NetRatings.

France and Germany are the leading two countries with Holland close behind. Britain is a bit further down the list with around 1.1 million gamers. The jump in figures is said to be because of better gaming technologies and the uptake of broadband internet access.

Games being played vary from simple card games to more advanted games such as Everquest and Ultima Online. Counter Strike is still the number 1 game played online but it will have tough competition in the future from newer services such as Xbox Live which will be launching in Europe very soon.

The massive online game Planetarion will be starting round 9 later this month and has big plans for round 10 in the summer, they are hopeing for a good slice of these 6million players in Europe alone so that they can get a good influx of new players to their game. Planetarion recently was brought out by the gaming giant Jolt who hope to make the game profitable and give the gamers what they want.

Online gaming is still very much a male activity at the moment according to Nielsen/NetRatings with 2.5 as many men gaming then women. In the Netherlands, a well-established broadband and gaming market, women are fast catching up however, a sign that gender differences may break down over time.