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57% of AT&Ters Play Mobile Games: Tetris Most Popular

bejeweled2_logo.jpgPopCap Games, results of a new survey, show  57 percent of AT&T wireless customers who were polled play
mobile games on their wireless devices. The survey, conducted by
Information Solutions Group among more than 1,100 AT&T wireless
customers, underscores the growing popularity of mobile gaming.

Fun and Stress Relief on The Go: Times and Reasons for Playing

 The top three benefits derived from playing mobile games were
identified as: "Distraction from daily life issues" (52%); "Relaxation
and stress relief" (40%); and "improved mood" (12%).

  • 52% of mobile gamers say they play mobile games during work hours
    and one in seven (14%) mobile gamers chose "during my work day, when I
    need a short break" as the time when they most often play games on
    their phone.
  •  60% of all mobile gamers selected "while waiting for an
    appointment" as a time when they play mobile games, with "during the
    day on weekdays" being cited by 34% of respondents and "when traveling
    on vacation" and "on the weekend" tying for third with 25% of
    respondents choosing each.

Mobile Games Consumption

  • 59% indicated they play games on their phone at least once a
    month; 40% said they played weekly or more often, while 41% said they
    played less than once per month.
  • 91% of mobile gaming sessions are 30 minutes or less; fully 62%
    are less than 15 minutes. 71% of mobile gamers play games on their
    phone for less than an hour per week; more than half (52%) of those who
    play daily said they play for three or more hours per week.
  • Over three quarters (78%) of mobile gamers have been playing games
    on their phone for more than a year, and 55% of those say they've been
    playing for 3+ years.
  • On average, nearly a quarter (22.2%) of a mobile gamer's total game playing time occurs on their mobile phone.

chartofgameprefences.jpgMobile gaming is poised for growth in 2009. One-third of AT&T
mobile gamers surveyed said they were "somewhat or very likely" to
purchase a game for their cell phone in 2009.

  • Just over a quarter (26 percent) said they've paid for a mobile
    game. (Across all mobile phone owners, including those who have never
    played a game on their phone, this equates to 15 percent having
    purchased a game.) More than three quarters (76 percent) of mobile
    gamers said they have played free games that came pre-installed on
    their phone, and a third (33 percent) indicated they have downloaded
    one or more free games to their phone.
  • The top factors influencing participants' decisions to buy a mobile
    game were "game is in a genre I like" (61 percent), "price of the game
    is reasonable" (52 percent) and "played demo version and liked it" (50
    percent).
  • Survey respondents who have purchased one or more mobile games have
    purchased an average of 7.2 mobile games; 26 percent said they'd
    purchased four or more games in the past year, with those newer to
    mobile gaming being more likely to purchase games for the phone.
  • Among respondents who indicated they would not be buying a mobile
    game in 2009, the top three reasons for that decision were: "happy with
    free games" (24 percent), "none of the games interest me enough to buy"
    (15 percent), and "lack of time to play" (14 percent).

"Adoption of mobile games continues to grow, but conversion rate
(free to paid players) remains low," observed Michael Cai, vice
president of video games research at Interpret LLC, a leading media
research and analysis firm. "Business model diversification is one way
to address this conundrum. In addition, more innovative games, like
Peggle, and fewer clones and knock-offs, are among the keys to
unlocking the potential of the mobile gaming market."

What games are played most? According to the survey:

  • Tetris (20 percent) and Bejeweled (18 percent) were most
    frequently named as "games you enjoy playing on your cell phone," with
    Solitaire a close third (17 percent).
  • The most popular genres of mobile games are Puzzle (66 percent) and
    Card/Casino (51 percent), with Board games (15 percent) and
    Action/Adventure (11 percent) a distant third and fourth.
  • When asked to name the most compelling characteristics that
    "motivate mobile game players to play the same game numerous times on
    their cell phone," respondents cited "relaxing game play" (62 percent)
    and "addictiveness" (30 percent) as the top two influencers.

Mobile gamers in the survey are fairly evenly split by gender, with
51 percent of males and 49 percent of females saying they game.

  • Men tend to play mobile games somewhat more frequently than women;
    44 percent of male respondents said they play once a week or more
    often, compared to 35 percent of female respondents.
  • But women play for longer stretches of time. Forty-one percent of
    women surveyed say their average mobile gaming session was 15 minutes
    or more, compared to 35 percent of men.