Mobile devices kick traditional gaming platforms to the kerb
Half of UK and US mobile gamers favour mobile devices as their primary home game platform, according to a new survey released today by PopCap Games, a division of EA and maker of some of the world's most popular video games.
Part of an extensive research project that spoke to a mobile gamer population of over 2,300 in the UK and US, the survey reveals that mobile gaming doesn't necessarily mean 'gaming on the go', with many mobile gamers stating that their favourite place to play mobile games is at home on the couch or while laying in bed. The survey also uncovered many surprising, quirky and naughty mobile gamer habits.
According to independent research firm Information Solutions Group, mobile is the new primary home gaming platform, especially for tablet owners. Altogether, 50% of the mobile gamers in the survey agreed that mobile gaming is their favoured method of game play at home over traditional consoles, computers and handheld gaming devices. Tablet-only players preferred home play on mobile devices even more (57%).
The survey showed the top five places to play mobile games are: at home on the couch (69% of UK and US gamers surveyed); at home laying in bed (57%); as a passenger in a car or on a bus or train (63%); waiting for an appointment (55%); and while watching television (41%).
Those who play mobile games exclusively on tablets confirmed that they play more at home on the couch (78%) and while watching TV (52%) than other mobile gamers. Those who stated that they play mobile games only on a smartphone were more likely to play in situations that required waiting, such as while at a restaurant, in line at a store, or at an appointment.
Naughty gamers are playing mobile games everywhere, the research revealed. Many reported playing mobile games in offbeat places; a combined UK and US total of 10% confessed to playing mobile games either in a church or other place of worship, or while driving a car, or while watching a movie at a theatre.
Of those surveyed, 8% confirmed they had played mobile games while in class at school and 9% had played at a sporting event. A further 6% of those surveyed had played mobile games at work during a meeting or a conference call, and 4% had played while at the gym. Almost one out of 10 mobile gamers (9%) reported that they had been late or missed an appointment, class, ride or flight because they were caught up playing a mobile game.
These gamers who play in unorthodox places tend to be male (60%), younger than 35 years old (69%) and play frequently (78% play daily). This group also spends more money on mobile games (75% of this group spent money on games in the past year versus 51% of the overall mobile gamer population) and are more likely to play mobile games with friends (85% play weekly, versus 52% among overall mobile players). They plan to spend an average of £31.55 in 2012 on mobile games, game currency or content versus £18.46 overall.
'We already know that people play mobile games 'on the go,' but now we are seeing mobile gamers largely favour their mobile devices for home use,' said Dennis Ryan, vice president of worldwide publishing at PopCap. 'If you add the fact we are seeing a deluge of new gamers coming in through mobile, we believe mobile gaming is invading the last bastion of video game consoles and personal computers; the home.'