In these times of recession, online gaming is a boom industry, as witnessed by Zynga’s IPO today.

The deal values Zynga, the maker of FarmVille and CityVille, at $9bn and is the largest US internet IPO since Google raised $1.9bn in 2004.

And new data from gaming firm Pando Networks gives further evidence of the continued growth of free-to-play games.

While the data only reflects Pando’s figures, it gives an insight into the growth of gaming worldwide since 2009.

The company has seen a 1024% boom in game downloads in Europe between October 2009 and 2011, with developing nations such as Turkey seeing a 534% growth in free-to-play gaming on the Pando platform in the past 12 months.

Pando CEO Robert Levitan said the popularity of massively multiplayer online (MMO) games is being driven by several industry factors.

These factors include the transition from a ‘paid’ to a ‘free-to-play’ business model as evidenced by Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online and Blizzard’s World of Warcraft, as well as the release of new hit games such as League of Legends from Riot Games.

“We expect continued robust growth as traditional game publishers move to full digital distribution and embrace the free-to-play model,” he said.

A full list of worldwide stats from Pando Networks can be seen in this infographic.