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Analyst: Consumers Shying Away From Mobile Game Downloads

Analyst: Consumers Shying Away From Mobile Game Downloads

May 2, 2006 | By Jason Dobson

A report from mobile market analyst M:Metrics has found that pricing, choice and lack of interest accounted for the top reasons that surveyed players did not download games for their mobile phones during the month of March.

Despite the growing selection of games on the operators portals, consumers still are not finding games that appeal to them and are complaining that prices are too high, observed Paul Goode, vice president, product development and senior analyst, M:Metrics. Faster networks and devices with larger screens will help improve the discovery process, operators and games publishers must do a much better job of marketing and merchandising mobile gaming content.

The report found the percentage of mobile subscribers that download games remains relatively constant across regions from month to month, with 4.2 percent of U.K., 2.5 percent of German and 2.7 percent of U.S. subscribers having downloaded a game in March.

M:Metrics also found that as much as 30 percent of downloads in March came from first time users and purchasers of new mobile phones, but that this only accounted for between .5 and .8 percent of all mobile subscribers. In addition, the report found that of those who who download content over their mobile phones, only 20-30 percent return to the service for future downloads.

This data shows that operators must do a better job at converting those that played a mobile game into a player of downloaded games, said Seamus McAteer, chief product architect and senior analyst, M:Metrics. There is no shortage of new titles being launched on operator portals, many offering innovative game play and superior production value, but these do not appear to be resonating with consumers. Subscribers that had played a downloaded title cite the pricing, lack of interest and selection as reasons they did not purchase another title in the month of March.

In the U.S,. and U.K., arcade puzzle games were the most popular downloads, while mobile subscribers in Germany preferred to download card games above all other types of downloads. The study also found that while both men and women are equally predisposed to playing mobile games, men, especially those between the ages of 18 and 34, are far more likely to download them. In addition, male users in this age range account for 35 percent of the U.S market, 30 percent of the U.K. market and 33.7 percent of the German market.

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