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BizReport : Research archives : April 19, 2010

Mobile game niche down but could skyrocket

Over the past year, despite forecasts predicting that the mobile gaming market would explode, the market actually showed a 13% decrease. However, that should turn this year thanks to the rapid adoption of smart devices. A new report from comScore points to that rapid adoption as one reason the mobile gaming sector should show significant growth very soon.

by Kristina Knight

The actual numbers show that from February 2009 to February 2010 the non-smartphone mobile subscriber base declined by 35%. But during the same period mobile subscribers using smartphones increased by 60%. That leaves the 13% decline mentioned above. There are now nearly 30,000 non-smartphone mobile gamers and just over 21,000 smartphone mobile gamers.

The key to the difference - and one reason researchers predict the mobile gaming sector will grown - is that smartphone gamers are playing for longer lengths of time.

"Although the number of mobile gamers has declined in the past year, there is reason for significant optimism about the future of this market," said Mark Donovan, senior vice president of mobile and senior analyst. "Smartphones offer a more accessible and compelling mobile gaming experience that is enabling adoption of this behavior, even among consumers who have not traditionally been gamers. The potential for highly creative marketing efforts is exciting."

The numbers for smartphone gamers tally like this:

• 47% of smartphone subscribers play monthly
• 16% play daily
• 16% play weekly
• 17% play 1-3 times each week

About one-quarter play downloaded games, another quarter play pre-loaded games. Only about 5% play games using their mobile web browser. The big draws, with nearly 13% of users playing, are puzzle games. Nearly 12% play card games with another 11% playing word/number games.

Tags: comScore, game ads, in-game advertising, mobile gamers, mobile gaming, mobile marketing

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