The NPD Group, which also tracks the monthly video game industry sales data in North America, has released a report about the habits of mobile phone users as regards to games on the platform. The findings indicate that mobile phone gaming sessions tend to be quite short, and that mobile gamers tend to buy single game downloads rather than stick to game subscription plans.
Currently, about 27 percent of those who own phones capable of playing games use them for such, up from 20 percent in 2004. 60 percent of the players are between 13 and 17, a much lower figure than the general median age for video games at large.
The average mobile gaming session, according to the report, is 11 minutes long, and the primary motivation for playing games on phones is "to kill time or alleviate boredom," meaning mobile gaming is not quite yet a destination.
The report finds that the main barrier to more widespread acceptance of mobile games is the price issue, and that consumers shy away from paying too high a price per game or to maintain subscriptions for multiple games. Many players stick with the free or preloaded titles on the phone, since the games are primarily used as timewasters.
Those who do spend money on the titles pay an average of 57 percent more on handsets, spend 22 percent more per month on wireless bills, and use 48 percent more wireless minutes.
"In this time of rapid growth, and with the industry in such a formative stage," said study administrator Clint Wheelock, "it's especially important for wireless operators and game publishers to understand the mindsets of mobile gamers, in order to best position themselves for long-term success."