Survey Finds Phones Revolutionize Video Games
As if you needed it, here's further confirmation that the mobile phone is revolutionizing the video game industry.
According to a new survey conducted by Information Solutions Group (on behalf of game developer PopCap Games), the mobile phone has become the primary gaming device for adults in the U.S. and the U.K. Overall, 52% of the nearly 2,500 respondents said they had played a game on a mobile phone at some time in the past. In the U.S. alone, 44% said they had played a mobile phone game at least once, while a third have played a game on their handset in the past month, and a quarter (24.6%) had played a game in the past week.
"As phones get smarter and are capable of doing more, people are embracing [gaming]," Garth Chouteau, a representative for PopCap, tells Marketing Daily. "As that increases, so does their consumption, particularly when it comes to smartphones."
Not surprisingly, smartphone owners were more likely to play the mobile games, with 81% saying they had played a game on their device in the past week. Nearly all (92%) of those owners say they play the games at least once a week, and 45% play a mobile phone game daily.
Half of all mobile phone gamers said the amount of time they had been playing the games had increased over the past year. For smartphone owners, the figure climbs to 63%. Nearly four-fifths (78%) said playing mobile games had become a part of their weekly activities and 59% said it had become a daily activity. Among all mobile phone gamers, nearly a quarter (23%) of their mobile phone usage time (excluding phone calls) was spent on gaming.
When asked which gaming device they use most often, 44% of the survey respondents said their phones, while 21% said video game consoles and 30% cited computers.
"You could argue that mobile phones, particularly smartphones, are bringing video game play to the masses in ways that nothing else previously has done. You've been able to play games on your computer for 25 or 30 years, but they're not things that are with you constantly," Chouteau says. "Mobile phones are making the average consumer a video game player and purchaser. Nothing else has done that."
They're also more willing to pay for games. Of all mobile gamers, 43% said they had upgraded from a free trial version to a full-paid version in the past year, and 27% said they had paid for additional content for an originally free game. Smartphone users purchased nearly twice as many games as those with feature phones (5.4 games vs. 2.9 games) and spent almost $10 more, on average, for their phone games.
"If you put these things in front of people, they will try them out and buy them," Chouteau says.