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Mobile industry must pull together to realise potential - I-play

Research reveals accessibility and education as key barriers to mass adoption

I-play has today revealed the results of its five-country research on mobile gaming across the US, UK, Italy, Spain and Germany. The independent survey, conducted earlier this year, examined the behaviour, barriers and motives of 2,500 mobile users.

A key finding of the report reveals just 5% of consumers have downloaded a game onto their handset, a figure illustrating the potential for substantial industry-wide growth, something I-play believes will only be realised with collaborative industry action.

"As a collective industry, we can put the corrective action in place to ensure downloading becomes a simple, straightforward process," said David Gosen, COO of I-play.

"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."

"The research findings are one example of how we put the consumer at the centre of what we do as a business. Firstly, through understanding that 'virgin downloaders' need more education about the process and more information about the game before they feel comfortable making that first purchase is critical. We know we have to de-risk that first download for the end user."

The research indicates a lack of basic consumer understanding, with 33% of respondents unsure whether their handset could play games, and a further 17.5% uncertain how to download a game. Several other barriers to adoption, including multiple-clicks to access content, problematic navigation, confusing error messages and low pre-pay credit balances, were attributed to the current low penetration figure.

"We are looking to introduce more initiatives such as 'try before you buy' and purchase enabled demos," Gosen continued. "To demystify mobile gaming we are providing more information on our website, such as independent reviews and videos, so that the consumer has a clear expectation of what they are getting for their money."

"We are increasing our media spends and marketing support programmes to alert non downloaders to the latent entertainment available through their mobile. But this is an industry challenge and we will be working with carriers and handset manufacturers to accelerate the growth potential in this market," he concluded.

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