People with smartphones are playing more games on their handsets… but the number of people gaming on non-smartphone devices is falling. Those are some of the findings from a study released this week by digital marketing intelligence company comScore.
The number of people playing games on 'feature phones' (i.e. not smartphones) fell by 35% between February 2009 and February 2010. This contrasts with a 60% increase in the number of smartphone gamers. However, with feature phones accounting for around 80% of the overall market, that resulted in an overall 13% drop in the number of mobile gamers.
27.3% of smartphone subscribers said they'd installed at least one game on their device, compared to just 5.6% of feature phone subscribers. And smartphone users aren't just more likely to play games; they're also playing games more often. Almost half of all smartphone subscribers (47.1%) are likely to play games on their device at least once a month, compared with 15.7% of non-smartphone users.
Mark Donovan, comScore's Senior Vice-President of Mobile, said "Although the number of mobile gamers has declined in the past year, there is reason for significant optimism about the future of this market. As the market transitions from feature phones to smartphones, the dynamics of gameplay are also shifting towards a higher quality experience. As a result, we can expect to see a profound increase in adoption of this activity, both in terms of audience size and overall engagement."
The study involved mobile subscribers in the USA aged 13 and above.