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I-play Outlines Collective Industry Action Required for Mobile Gaming Market to Reach True Potential

I-play Survey Shows That Only Five Percent of Consumers Have Downloaded a Mobile Game, Despite Ongoing Market Growth

San Mateo, CA & London, UK - 1st August, 2005: I-play, the mobile games company, today revealed results of the first-ever five-country survey on mobile gaming behaviour that summarizes barriers and incentives to consumers downloading mobile games. Key findings of the research show that only five percent of consumers have ever downloaded a mobile game, illustrating that the market has enormous growth potential if this barrier can be overcome. The research was carried out by independent research agency SKOPOS and is the result of interviews with more than 2,500 respondents across the US, UK, Italy, Spain and Germany.

"The mobile games market is essentially only five percent penetrated. The good news is that we now know what's limiting market growth - the industry must improve accessibility to mobile games and more importantly, educate consumers on how and where to obtain mobile games. As a collective industry, we can put the corrective action in place to ensure downloading becomes a simple, straightforward process," David Gosen, COO of I-play commented.

I-play: did you know?

A key barrier preventing people from attempting to download mobile games is basic awareness regarding phone functionality. When asked, "Can your mobile phone download games?"

  • 30% of respondents did not know whether their handset is capable of downloading games.
  • Spaniards are the most savvy with 80% of respondents knowing that their handset is game capable, compared to just 60% of Germans.
I-play: did you know?

Education is a critical way of showing consumers how to download games and other content onto their mobile phones. When respondents were asked, "Why do you not download mobile games?"

  • 17.5 % of overall respondents said they have not downloaded a mobile game because they do not understand what to do.
  • Other cited problems inherent in downloading games and content include:

- Multiple clicks to access content

- Merchandising of content on the devices is difficult to navigate

- Appearance of confusing messages such as 'source unknown, continue?' prior to downloading games on some handsets and networks

- Successful downloads saved in a handset location where the consumer is unlikely to find it

- Low pre-pay credit balances

I-play: did you know?

Free trials and friends' recommendations are most likely to convince younger people (12-15yr olds) to download a game. When asked, "What might encourage you to play more games on your mobile?"

  • 51% are encouraged to download games when offered at a better price
  • 49% are encouraged to download games when free trials are given
  • 30% said a friend's recommendation would convince them to download games

Being able to download games from the web, as well as making games easier to download, were other frequently cited solutions that would encourage more respondents to try downloading a mobile game.

Revenues from the mobile games industry are in the process of two-fold annual growth, with Informa Telecoms & Media estimating global mobile games revenues will be worth $2.6 billion by the end of 2005, up $1.3 billion from last year. Informa forecasts that by 2010 the global mobile games market will be generating annual revenues of $11.2 billion. I-play believes the key to unlocking the true potential of the market is better education of the consumer, 'try before you buy iniatives' and simplifying the process of finding and downloading mobile games.


Annabel Brog

PR Manager, I-play

Tel: 44 2079011770


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