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IGN Study Shows Mobile Gamers Spending Habits Make Them Market Drivers

Mobile Gamers Likely To Replace Handsets Twice a Year, Spend More on Minutes, Games, Value-Add Services

BRISBANE, Calif. - Dec. 13, 2005 - IGN Entertainment, a leading Internet media and services company focused on the video game and entertainment enthusiast markets, has released a report "Mobile Gamers: Early Adopters Establish a Booming Industry," which finds mobile gamers are key growth drivers for the mobile industry. The survey documents spending habits of mobile gamers, which shows more hardware buys per year, higher minute usage and bigger wireless bills.

IGN's report looks at the gamer segment to understand the subset of mobile gamers; the survey reviews what their purchasing habits are, as well as phone and game features they prefer. Early adopters, who will lead the way for all other cell phone users into the rapidly growing market for mobile gaming, spend 25% more on their hardware and are willing to pay 75% more than other gamers for mobile games. They are considerably more likely than other gamers to switch wireless service providers to gain access to downloadable content, unlimited data (Internet) access, and the coolest phones/latest technology. Mobile gamers are also much more likely to replace their phone twice a year or more, whenever something new and exciting hits the market.

IGN's survey cites the key opportunity of the wireless entertainment sector as the enormous installed base of cell phones. eMarketer data puts the current estimate at more than 160 million phones in the US. Mobile phones have a clear and easy advantage over any new console entering the market, due to the millions of people already using increasingly sophisticated phones. The most significant barrier to reaching the consumer is finding games that will work with a given handset, and then getting the game onto the device, according to the report.

Highlights of the report include findings such as:

  • The existing installed base of cell phone users is enormous, and ripe for exposure to mobile gaming as an entertainment opportunity
  • Mobile gamers desire different features in their cell phones from other gamers, although a color screen remains most important to everyone
  • Purchasing individual games is significantly preferred over the idea of a mobile gaming subscription model
  • Mobile gamers prefer to buy their mobile games on the handset rather than on their PC
  • Current gamers would like to see more high-quality engaging games for their cell phones, but inexpensive casual games are still the best way to introduce someone new to mobile gaming
  • Purchase decisions for individual games are driven by game genre, online editorial and word of mouth, in that order
  • Mobile gamers consider multiplayer gaming to be important
  • Mobile gamers are significantly more likely than other gamers to use their cell phones for non-gaming tasks such as downloading content and Internet access
  • The report is available at no charge to members of the press, industry analysts and clients of IGN.


IGN Entertainment, a unit of Fox Interactive Media, Inc., is a leading Internet media and services provider focused on the videogame and entertainment enthusiast markets. Collectively, IGN's properties reached more than 33 million unique users worldwide in the month of October 2005, according to Internet audience measurement firm comScore Media Metrix.* IGN's network of videogame-related properties (, GameSpy, FilePlanet, TeamXbox, Direct2Drive and others), is the web's number one videogame information destination and attracts one of the largest concentrated audiences of young males on the Internet. IGN also owns and operates the popular movie-related website, Rotten Tomatoes and one of the leading male lifestyle websites, In addition, IGN provides technology for online game play in videogames. IGN is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices throughout the U.S. and in Montreal.

*comScore Media Metrix, October 2005 Worldwide data. Worldwide data cited herein represent an aggregate of 32 countries reported by comScore Media Metrix on a monthly basis.

IGN Entertainment, Direct2Drive,, GameSpy, Rotten Tomatoes, FilePlanet, GameSpy Arcade, GameSpy Arena and TeamXbox are trademarks of IGN Entertainment. Other trademarks and copyrights mentioned are the properties of their respective holders.


Sibel Sunar/Craig Sinel

The Bohle Company

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