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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : March 03, 2011

Third of grown-ups play with their mobile devices

There's something about mobile phones that brings out the big kid in users. A new survey from PopCap found a third of all mobile phone users have played a game on their device in the last month, and many prefer gaming on their phones to consoles and PCs.

by Helen Leggatt

popcap games logo.jpgAcross the US and UK, 33.6% of adults have played a game on their mobile device during the past month (mobile gamers), found PopCap's survey of 2,425 adults. A quarter have played a game in the last week (avid mobile gamers).

There's no doubt that smartphones, along with the ease with which apps can be downloaded, are responsible for the hike in the number of adult gamers. In fact, among smartphone gamers, 83% have played a game in the last week.

The question is, are mobile gamers paying for game downloads? It appears many users are making up their minds whether to pay for a game by first downloading a free trial. However, 43% of all mobile gamers (49% of smartphone gamers) have gone on to upgrade a free trial to a paid version.

Not surprisingly, smartphone users were found to be more likely to purchase a game than feature phone users - 5.4 games vs 2.9 games.

PopCap's survey shows how the mobile platform is already trouncing the likes of PC and console gaming. Over half (55%) of smartphone gamers and 44% of mobile gamers chose their phones as the gaming device they play games on most often, as opposed to computers (30%) and consoles (21%).

"Mobile games are, along with social games, the hottest sector of the video game industry by far," said Dennis Ryan, EVP of Worldwide Publishing at PopCap.

"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."

Marketers are increasingly looking to advertise within mobile games, although there are concerns regarding the disruption to game-play caused by current formats plus the high rate of accidental clicks.

One alternative to traditional mobile ad placement is offered by new start-up, Tap Me. Their mobile advertising platform, an industry first, provides gamers with a more relevant, smooth and rewarding in-game ad experience and advertisers a much better engagement rate.

Using Tap Me's platform, ads can be integrated into different areas of mobile game content such as "power-ups" or in-game rewards. For instance, an energy drink brand might sponsor an in-game "energize" reward or an athletic kit brand used alongside "power-ups".

Tags: mobile gaming, mobile marketing

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