Half of gamers spend more time playing on mobile vs PCs

Advertisers can rejoice that smartphones allow gamers to plug in more than ever

Technology trends and news by Krystal Peak
January 6, 2012
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The world of mobile gaming has grown as prevalent as the smartphones that people fiddle with at every available moment. From standing in line, to sitting at a restaurant and commuting on public transportation, people are finding more time to play their favorite mobile games.

A gaming survey conducted by MocoSpace found that 46% of gamers are spending more time playing mobile games this year than in the past.

The survey out on Friday, looked at 15,000 gamers and what their playing habits are.

The increased amount of time gaming has not translated to home gaming consoles at the same rate -- only 26% of gamers have spent more time in the last year on their consoles. 

Similarly, 23% of those polled said they are playing more games on their PCs than in years past.

MocoSpace and several other sources estimate the gaming population in the U.S. to rest roughly around 25 million people and most of them do some level of gaming on their mobile devices.

“The fact that people are gaming on their mobile phones at home, often sitting a few feet away from their controller, shows that mobile is capable of grabbing and holding their interest.," said Justin Siegel, CEO of MocoSpace, in a statement. "This data makes it clear that mobile is a viable alternative to console and PC gaming,” 

When you look at the amount of time devoted to gaming each day, 21% reported that they spend at least an hour playing every day on their mobile phone -- while 24% spend at least an hour, average, on console gaming. 

According to a Nielsen’s Mobile Media Report for the third quarter of 2011, 44% of all phones in use in the U.S. are now smartphones – an increase of 13% from the same time last year.

Women over age 30 continue to show interest in mobile gaming at a rate greater than any demographic. A staggering 27% of women over 30 year old states that they spend more than three hours playing games on their mobile phones every day -- this is twice the percentage of all men and twice the time dedicated by females from ages 12-29.

Where people are doing the biggest chunks of mobile gaming are also interesting since the number one location is in their own homes (with 47% responding that they game at their residence) -- even though computers and consoles would likely also be in the home. The second and third most common gaming locations were at work (with 14%) and on a comment (with 12%).

Currently, according to AppData, the top five downloaded and used games on the iOS network are Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, Words with Friends, Where's My Water and Cut the Rope.  The top five downloded and used games on Android are Angry Birds, Grand Theft Auto III, Grinsia, Shaddowgun and Legends Arcana.

It is hard to nail down how many games are available online or in apps stores but some estimates put the number of gaming options on iOS near 9,000 and near 5,000 for Android but those figures change greatly based on the perameters on what is "gaming." It is even harder on the PC or browser environment since you have to factor in Facebook, Google+, Yahoo and multiple sites that host gaming options.

An industry report by IBISWorld, released in November estimates that social gaming revenue will increase nearly 25% annually for the next 5 years. As of June, social gaming was clocking in $4 billion annually and is expected to reach $11.3 billion by 2016.

This week, Zynga added another mobile game to its catalog, Scramble with Friends, in order to build the number of advertisers, virtual credits bought, and mobile gamers in its expansive community.

These numbers are very exciting for game developers and brands that are looking at advertising on mobile gaming devices. The popular women over 30 demographic is one of the best markets to tap into for brands and mobile gaming has spent a lot of time and effort to attract more advertising opportunities. 



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