According to a new survey released by research firm Newzoo, the U.S. leads the pack in mobile gaming, growing to 101 million users by March of 2012. The majority of mobile gamers, 69 percent, play on smart phones while the tablet market takes 21 percent of all mobile gaming in the US.
Not unusual is the fact that, according to the survey, Americans spend five times more money on iOS games than on Android games in the mobile market.
The survey was conducted by a National Gamers Survey that involved 17,000 participants in conjunction with monthly revenue and download data of the top 200 grossing iOS and Android games.
Of all American gamers, 37 million play on an iPhone or iPod touch. The iPad dominates tablet gaming with 60 percent of all US tablet users playing on Apple’s device.
The popular trend in gaming is still “freemium” games. That is, games that can be downloaded for free, but offer in-app purchases for optimum gaming. According to the survey, 91 percent of Android and 91 percent of iOS revenue earned from mobile games is from in-app purchases.
Newzoo’s CEO Peter Warman attributes Apple’s success in app revenue to seamless purchasing. “When analyzing Apple’s successful monetization, there is one dominant factor outside of differences in audience demographics and preferences: Apple requires users to connect their credit card information directly to their account, thus creating a seamless purchase experience.”
Factors that contribute to fast growth in mobile gaming include ports of “core” games to the mobile platform as well as an accelerated overall growth in smart phones and tablets. “Increases in processing power and screen resolution, especially in tablets, over the past several years have led to the availability of more immersive play experiences on mobile.” More “hardcore” gamers are turning to mobile devices to get their fix. One reason may be that, as gamers get older, they have less time to spend in front of their home PC and mobile platforms allow them to pick up and play games anywhere they want.