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Americans embrace mobile gaming, new study shows

I-play study reveals behavioural differences between US and European mobile gamers

I-Play has announced the results of an independent study to investigate the behavioural differences between American and European mobile gamers and the associated market trends.

Undertaken by independent research agency, SKOPOS, 2,500 surveys were completed by mobile phone users in the US, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. The results have revealed several distinct differences which have highlighted specific market trends in the US.

Americans tend to play mobile games for much longer periods than their European counterparts, with 33 percent admitting to playing a single mobile game for more than twenty minutes at a time, compared with just 21 percent of Europeans.

This high percentage is backed up by the fact that 45 percent of US gamers 'play to win' - returning to the same game in an effort to beat previous high scores and retain a competitive edge. Just 17 percent of Europeans admitted to playing the same game to beat high scores.

In terms of the type of games played, the study suggests that casual gaming is more popular for Americans (22 percent compared to 17 percent in the EU) but Europeans are far more inclined to play action games (15 percent compared to just 7 percent in the US). Interestingly, simplicity and physical instruction would promote further growth in the number of US gamers downloading and playing mobile games, as 58 percent of US gamers said simple gameplay attracted them, while a substantial 26 percent admitted that they would download and play more games if someone actually showed them what to do.

The recent introduction of all-inclusive data packages by several North American carriers has proven to be incredibly successful in promoting mobile downloads, as the study reveals that 30 percent of Americans (versus just 18 percent of Europeans) discover and download new games through carrier portals. According to the study, a high percentage of US gamers download two or more games per week.

Word of mouth is key for the growth of the US market, as a quarter of US respondents suggested that information and encouragement from friends spurred downloads of specific games and content. EU gamers are a little more reticent it seems, and just 17 percent admitted to friends recommendations driving their download habits.

Recent studies had suggested that, compared to the more technologically advanced territories such as Japan and Korea, the US mobile gaming market is relatively stagnant. I-Play's study, although comparing the results with Europe as opposed to Japan, seems to indicate quite the opposite. It would seem that not only have Americans embraced mobile gaming, but with the combination of all-inclusive data packages from carriers and a little hands-on encouragement, the North American market could easily show substantial growth.

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