Over the past year, mobile gaming has catapulted, mainly due to hi-tech Smartphones and Tablets fuelling the fire. A recent survey by PopCap found that US and UK mobile gamers have topped 125 million, with men and women sharing an equal interest in mobile gaming activities.
The report, compiled by Information Solutions Group, found that mobile gaming was most popular amongst 25-34 year olds, with 28% of male and 27% of female gamers. However, in the next bracket of 35-44 year olds, female gamers came out on top with 23% of them playing mobile games as opposed to 19% of males.
Not surprisingly, it indicated that 46% of gaming time is dedicated to mobiles and tablets today, whilst a third of gaming time is occupied by desktop and laptop computers. Only 18% of time is spent on gaming consoles, and 4% on other handheld gaming devices, which brings to light recent concerns within the gaming industry, over a bleak looking future for console gaming.
In terms of spending, the survey found that 51% of players made game-related purchases in the past year. 61% of game expenditure was for game purchases, rather than in-game purchases. This is a big talking point for mobile gaming companies, and particularly social gaming companies who are being forced to think carefully, and rather more creatively about their purchasing and gambling activities, due to social networking sites such as Facebook not allowing real-wagering gambling.
However, social gaming is clearly the place to be in mobile gaming right now, with a significant rise in the amount of social mobile gamers, their play time and money spent on games or add-on content for apps and Facebook games. The PopCap survey found that mobile gaming in general has increased by 45% over the past year, and now 36% of mobile gamers are Tablet owners. Tablets are also creating new gamers, with 9% of participants (11 million people) admitting to playing new games after recently purchasing an iPad. 74% of these Tablet owners admitted that they did not play mobile games, before they had an iPad.
So what do you think about the future for mobile gaming? Will consoles developers fight back with new technology or has console gaming had its day? Can social gaming remain top of the pick, or will real money gambling take off even bigger? Let us know your thoughts below.