PopCap Games, the makers of casual mobile games such as Bejeweled, Peggle, and Plants vs. Zombies, today released the results of its poll on mobile gaming. Unsurprisingly, the market for mobile gaming is growing at breakneck speed. The poll also found that the audience for mobile gaming is broadening.
The survey was conducted by Information Solutions Group, and polled adults in the U.S. and U.K. It found that 125 million adults in those countries play games on mobile devices. 44% of those surveyed said they had played a mobile game within the past month - only 15% said the same thing last year. Clearly, the expanding number and adoption of gaming-capable mobile devices capable is bringing millions of new players.
“Mobile games continue to vie with social games as the hottest sector of the video game industry and that trend shows no sign of waning,” stated Dennis Ryan, vice president of worldwide publishing at PopCap. “Smartphone adoption continues apace and tablet adoption has added considerable fuel to the fire. Even more important, consumers are embracing the shift toward freemium games and other add-on game content purchases, driving the dramatic and rapid shift in the forms of monetization being used by developers and publishers.”
While Ryan may be correct that mobile gaming shows no signs of slowing, recent evidence suggests the popularity of social gaming on sites such as Facebook might have already peaked.
The factors Ryan mentions for the rapid growth in mobile gaming, tablets and fremium pricing models, are clearly part of the reason for the industry's growth spurt. According to the survey, 36% of mobile gamers own a tablet, and 74% of those gamers did not previously play mobile games. The ease of mobile gaming on tablets, combined with the low prices of the games themselves, are what is bringing in new gamers. 70% of survey respondents cited the availability of more free games as a reason for their increased mobile gaming. Of course, game companies are not simply giving the games away: 51% of these same gamers admitted to making mobile game-related purchases within the past year.
For the first time in the survey's three-year history, an equal number of males and females are mobile gamers. Previously, males were more likely to be mobile gamers. Also, the average age of a mobile gamer is now 39.5 years old. This broadening audience means mobile gaming still has plenty of room for growth in the coming years.
The results of the survey can be seen in a PDF at the Information Solutions Group website.