2/3 of Mobile Gamers Don't Think They're Gamers

Tapjoy released the findings of in-depth research conducted to understand the mindset, motivations and behaviors of today’s mobile gamers. Designed to shed light on this massive and desirable consumer audience for brand advertisers, the report answers questions such as how games make players feel, when they most frequently play mobile games, and whether or not they identify as gamers.

More than half of the US population, and nearly 70% of the country’s smartphone owners, play games on their mobile devices, says the report, and they spend an average of 55 minutes a day doing so. Market research firm Newzoo claims that there are approximately 1.9 billion mobile gamers throughout the world, and it’s not just one particular demographic; people of all ages, genders and income brackets play mobile games.

Yet for all their popularity, says the report, there are a lot of misconceptions around mobile games and the people who play them. These misconceptions have prevented many marketers from including mobile games as part of their media strategies, tending to favor social networks, messaging apps, and other, more “mainstream” mobile channels instead.

One of the main findings from the report, titled “The Changing Face of Mobile Gamers: What Brands Need to Know,” shows that consumers are twice as likely to say they feel relaxed when playing mobile games, than they are when using social apps. They also say they feel:

  • More focused (35% vs 11%)
  • Happier (34% vs 21%)
  • More engaged (35% vs 20%) on gaming apps than social networking apps
  • Conversely, consumers are 2.4 times more likely to feel bored on social apps than gaming apps, and 60% more likely to feel stressed.

Shannon Jessup, chief revenue officer of Tapjoy, notes that  “… (with) nearly 2 billion mobile gamers in the world… the unique state of mind consumers have when playing games on their smartphones or tablet… represents an incredible opportunity for brands to truly connect with consumers...”

Some key findings from the report include:

  • More than two-thirds of consumers who play games do not identify themselves as a gamer. Even among those who said that they play mobile games six times a week or more, less than one in three identify as a gamer 
  • Women represent the majority of mobile gamers, making up 63% of the total player base. Consumers 55 and over are the largest age group, representing 23% of the respondents, with consumers ages 25 - 34 representing 21% and those 35 - 44 representing 19%
  • Consumers with a household income of $100,000 or more make up 17% of mobile gamers, with another 37% earning between $50,000 and $99,000  
  • 70% of mobile gamers say they play while sitting in front of the television, and they are more than twice as likely to play while relaxing at home than while at work or during their commute
  • They are also more than twice as likely to play at night right before they go to bed than when they first wake up in the morning  

When respondents were asked whether they consider themselves gamers, the answer was a surprising and resounding “No,” says the report. Only 32% of respondents who play games actually think of themself as a gamer. Even among those who said that they play mobile games at least six times a week, less than one in three identifies as a “gamer.” This gap between behavior and perception shows there is a misconception around the idea and definition of a “gamer.”

Apparently, people do not define “gamers” as people who play games. Rather, the report concludes by noting that people likely think of  “gamers” as those whose identity is wrapped up in games -- the quintessential image of a teenage boy spending hours on end playing video games in his basement. In reality, mobile has opened up gaming as entertainment to the masses (the majority  of US adults now regularly play mobile games), and the public definition and  perception of “gamers” is due for an update.

To access and download the full report, please visit Tapjoy here.



1 comment about "2/3 of Mobile Gamers Don't Think They're Gamers".
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  1. Neil Mahoney from Mahoney/Marketing, January 24, 2017 at 8:35 a.m.

    Findings are not surprising.  "Gamers" souds like an adiction or profession.  With most, playing games is a pastime.

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