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Mobile gaming "attacking consoles on their home turf"

Mobile gaming "attacking consoles on their home turf"

Wed 21 Mar 2012 6:12pm GMT / 2:12pm EDT / 11:12am PDT
Mobile

Mobile gaming isn't so mobile, after all, as two separate studies show that mobile is played most at home

Game designers often look to make mobile titles more accessible in short bursts because conventional thinking tells you that people are playing games like Angry Birds while commuting or waiting in line, but two separate studies today have indicated that people actually play these games the most while at home.

MocoSpace surveyed over 15,000 gamers in February 2012 to gain understanding around where Americans like to play mobile games. An overwhelming 96 percent answered "at home," while 83 percent said "waiting at an appointment." While commuting was actually the third response at 72 percent.

Of those 96 percent who play at home, 53 percent said they play in bed, 41 percent said they play in the living room (couch), and five percent admitted to the bathroom (although we bet it's higher).

Interestingly, since much of the playing is happening at home, the duration of gaming sessions was found to be much longer too. This console-like engagement of mobile games revealed 52 percent of respondents playing over one hour per day and 32 percent playing over three hours daily. Employers should also keep a better eye on their staff, as 10 percent of respondents answered that they play mobile games for more than three hours while at work.

"This report should make every console gaming company nervous," said MocoSpace co-founder and CEO Justin Siegel. "Mobile gaming is not a companion to consoles, but rather it's attacking them on their home turf: the couch, the La-Z-Boy and even the bedroom."

In a separate study conducted jointly by games company Miniclip and mobile ad server MoPub, the results were quite similar. "Despite the no-strings-attached freedom of mobile devices, 44 percent of gamers are playing on their couch versus any out-of-home location, including time spent traveling or waiting," states the report.

"It's interesting to see that mobile games fueled by powerful smartphone and tablets are now competing for gamer time on the same couch where console gaming used to reign supreme," said Pietro Macchiarella, research analyst at Parks Associates. "The growth in tablet penetration will have an enormous impact on the size of the mobile gaming market."

10 Comments

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Precisely.
This is why the console sector is in such sharp decline and why phone gaming is growing at 2,000% pa.
A phone as a gaming device costs zero, because we need a phone anyway.
Mobile phones are ubiquitous and over half the population in the West already have smart phones.
Phones are with their users 24/7.
There are vastly more games available on the iPhone alone than on all the consoles ever made all put together.
And because there are no physical distribution costs and because there is such an enormous customer base, phone games can be very cheap indeed.

Also, for a walled garden, Apple are very liberal. On the App Store it is possible to integrate our own and other servers (e.g. Facebook) into our games and to do in game purchases and virtual currencies. Their approval process is also wonderfully lax. All this means that there is an explosion in creativity, which was being stifled by consoles.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Massimo Guarini Founding Director and CEO, Ovosonico

26 18 0.7
Here we are again with this Mobile vs Console teenage fan-war. This is really getting ridicolous now.
Why don't everybody just focus on creating good content, regardless of the platform, technology or current biz model trend?
Given the current situation with both mobile casual and AAA content, that might be just what we need.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

449 423 0.9
Hmm, it makes more sense to call it handheld gaming, since that's what it really is.
This is why the console sector is in such sharp decline
What 'sharp' decline are we speaking of? Console sales? Game sales? Game revenue? Have you factored the cost of online gaming such as XBox live? and the Nintendo DS? Not trying to argue, I just haven't seen a sharp decline in the fugures I've seen of the gaming industry. In fact wikinvest shows a rise in console gaming revenue in the last 3 years, so this is news to me.

Just to add, Wikia's Video Games Industry page says the same (with links to sources). But if you have any other information or another informed perspective, feel free to share some information (as I am happy to be corrected with more accurate information if what I have is wrong).
A phone as a gaming device costs zero, because we need a phone anyway.
There are vastly more games available on the iPhone alone than on all the consoles ever made all put together.
This is why the console sector is in such sharp decline and why phone gaming is growing at 2,000% pa.
Phone gaming is growing because it's in the growth stage. It is being adopted faster than gaming was in the 80's because it also doubles as a phone that is desirable with and without gaming since it is also an mp3 player and connects to the social media services that people spend so much time on. So really what we're witnessing is a transitional period in the mobile phone industry as it adopts entertainment and gaming capabilities.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 22nd March 2012 9:15am

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
Bruce, I would be interested to see some reliable analyses or studies which back-up your repeated claims that console gaming is in "sharp decline".

Posted:2 years ago

#4

John Bye Senior Game Designer, Future Games of London

480 451 0.9
Interesting study, and mostly tallies with my own experience, although two points stand out to me -

1) I wonder how many of the 42% of people who mostly play mobile phone games on the couch are like me and my wife and primarily do that while their other half is watching TV or playing a console game.

2) The 95% of people saying they don't spend most of their time playing on the loo are clearly lying. :)

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
re the sharp decline in Console, there are plenty of articles about it. It peaked about 2008/9 and has been downhill ever since.
The biggest practical evidence is what has just happened to the chain of GAME stores in the UK and elsewhere.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
"The biggest practical evidence is what has just happened to the chain of GAME stores in the UK and elsewhere."

I'm sorry, but that's nonsense - GAME were an extremely poorly managed business who long since burnt their bridges with publishers and preyed on naive consumers. How do you explain GameStop's continued success if this is such irrefutable evidence?!

I don't recall seeing any such articles detailing the "steep decline" of consoles, so perhaps if you could link say two or three I'd be grateful. Thanks in advance.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Terence Gage on 22nd March 2012 2:17pm

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Craig Page Programmer

384 220 0.6
I played a lot of Angry Birds while waiting for levels to load in my 360 and PC games. That seems like a better use for those 40 seconds than just staring at a loading screen. Starcraft 2 was the worst, you can give it a 4 core CPU, a solid state hard drive, and all of the ram in the world and it still takes forever to load.

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters

527 786 1.5
For the study to prove what the headline claims, it should really have asked more direct questions. For instance, are these people who spend so much time playing their mobile games at home the exact same people who would normally have spent the same amount of time playing an RPG or something similar on a console? Or are they people who never used to even bother playing games before they got a smart phone anyway? Saying "lots of people play mobile games while at home" does not directly imply that consoles have lost out anything to this. Smartphones have discovered a way to grab new customers, that's hardly surprising. Nor is it surprising for a study conducted by a mobile games company to make findings that suit them. Let me guess, they're recruiting?

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Keldon Alleyne Handheld Developer, Avasopht Ltd

449 423 0.9
For the study to prove what the headline claims, it should really have asked more direct questions.
Yes, like "how much did you spend on your console before you had the iPhone? How much do you spend now?".

Edit:changed from "how much did you play" to "how much did you spend"
I don't recall seeing any such articles detailing the "steep decline" of consoles, so perhaps if you could link say two or three I'd be grateful. Thanks in advance.
Ditto. In fact I posted a graph showing no steep decline. I am yet to see a graph showing a steep decline.
The biggest practical evidence is what has just happened to the chain of GAME stores in the UK and elsewhere.
What is that evidence of, exactly? Tell me the impact of the rise on competition from online and supermarket retailers? Did you not see the many articles (specifically around the time of the 3DS launch) where GAME were buying 3DS' from Tesco's? All I'm seeing here are biased distortions on information, completely filtering out every other factor that was going against GAME, but instead choose to conclude that it must be down to and only down to the availability of gaming on mobile phones.

Newsflash: mobile gaming is handheld gaming. The first place to look at any effect that mobile gaming has on the video games market is to examine handheld gaming and so far the 3DS has sold faster than the DS, showing no dent whatsoever in that market.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 23rd March 2012 9:10am

Posted:2 years ago

#10

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