The mobile games sector is growing quickly, according to a 2010 survey conducted by Information Solutions Group and released by PopCap Games. 33.6 percent of the 2,425 respondents (in the US and the UK) said they have played a game on a mobile phone in the last month. This qualifies them as "mobile phone gamers" for the purposes of the survey, and nearly a quarter (24.6 percent) have played in the past week, qualifying them as "avid mobile phone gamers."
Here are some other survey findings:
- 84 percent of all mobile phone gamers, and 97 percent of avid mobile phone gamers say they play games on their phone at least once a week; 92 percent of smartphone owners who play mobile games say they play at least once a week, and 45 percent say they play daily (compared to 35 percent of all mobile phone gamers). In the 2009 survey, only 13 percent of mobile phone gamers said they played daily, and 40 percent said they played weekly or more often.
- Among all mobile phone gamers, 50 percent said that the amount of time they spend playing games on their handset has increased over the past year, and among smartphone owners the figure climbs to 63 percent; in the 2009 survey, only 20 percent of mobile gamers indicated their consumption of mobile games had increased.
- Among all mobile phone gamers, 78 percent indicated that playing mobile phone games had become a regular part of their weekly activities, and more than half (59 percent) indicated that they saw such games as a regular part of their daily activities; for smartphone owners the figures were 84 percent and 68 percent, respectively.
- When asked which gaming-capable device they play games on most often, 44 percent of mobile phone gamers chose their phones, catapulting handsets past video game consoles (21 percent) and computers (30 percent) to the top of the list. 51 percent of avid mobile gamers and 55 percent of those mobile gamers who own smartphones indicated they played games most often on their phones. This compares to just 17 percent of mobile gamers who chose their handset as their most frequently used gaming device in the 2009 survey.
- 43 percent of all mobile gamers, and 49 percent of smartphone gamers, said they had upgraded a free trial game to the full (paid) version in the past year; more than a quarter (27 percent) of all mobile gamers, and a third (34 percent) of smartphone gamers, said they had paid for additional content for an originally free game in the past year.
- Among mobile phone gamers, the average smartphone owner purchased nearly twice as many games as those with other types of phones (5.4 games vs. 2.9 games) in 2010, and spent almost $10 more ($25.57 vs. $15.70) on phone games.
- 19 percent of all mobile phone gamers said they played one or more social networking games via their phone daily, and more than a third (37 percent) said they play a social networking game via their phone at least once a week.
- Among all mobile phone gamers, 23 percent of all mobile phone device usage time (excluding phone calls) is spent playing games.
"Mobile games are, along with social games, the hottest sector of the video game industry by far," Dennis Ryan, EVP of Worldwide Publishing at PopCap, said in a statement. "As more people purchase smartphones and the entire process of finding, purchasing and playing mobile games becomes as simple as browsing the internet, the mobile games market is going to accelerate even more."