Mobile apps convert a new generation of mass market casual gamers

Since Apple opened up its iPhone platform to third party developers and the mobile world followed with an onslaught of app-centric devices, the video game industry has seen a dramatic shift towards "mass-market casual gamers."

The gaming industry was once dominated by "hardcore gamers" - typically males aged between 18 to 34 - who only played video games on dedicated game consoles. But the evolution of gaming-friendly mobile platforms has shifted the landscape of video gaming to a point where mass-market-friendly gaming apps on mobile devices are the status quo for a new generation of engaged mobile gamers.

"Given the sheer size of the video game industry, this is a watershed moment," said Peter Farago, VP marketing of app market analytics company Flurry in a February 22 report on mobile social gamers.

In January 2011 market researcher, the NPD Group, reported that the 2010 worldwide video game revenue (excluding hardware) was over $15 billion.  

While the video game industry is thriving, console game sales dropped 5 percent from 2009 to 2010, a large proportion of which can be attributed to the rise of casual gaming on mobile platforms.

Mobile gaming is big. The smartphone mobile gaming audience is bigger than that of game consoles, portable game consoles and even primetime TV.

The "installed base [of smartphone mobile gaming] is larger than the combined worldwide installed base of console industry leaders Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3, estimated at approximately 180 million units," reports Flurry.

"Likewise, iOS and Android devices command a larger installed base than the combination of portable game platforms Nintendo DS and Sony PSP, which recent estimates peg around 200 million devices worldwide."

Farago adds that the Mobile Social Gaming audience "exceeds that of any U.S. primetime television show, the best of which can top 20 million viewers on days airing new episodes."

Surprisingly, 53 percent of Mobile Social Gamers are female. The segment also attracts a younger average user than traditional gaming; the average age of mobile social gamers is around 28.2 while hardcore gamers were more often male with an average age of 34.

According to Flurry's statistics, Mobile Social Gamers in the US are more likely to earn over 50 percent more than the average American and are more than twice as likely to have attained a bachelor's degree or higher.

For more information on the study visit: http://blog.flurry.com/bid/57219/Mobile-Social-Gamers-The-New-Mass-Market-Powerhouse

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