Tablet-Only Game Players Skew Older Than Mobile Average

popcap-mobile-gamer-age-profile-june2012.pngThe average age of a US or UK mobile device owner who has played a game on the device in the past month (“mobile gamer”) is 39.5, while among those only playing games on a tablet, the average age is 44.7, per findings [pdf] from a PopCap Games report released in June 2012. 16% of mobile gamers are 55 or older, while roughly two-thirds are less than 45 years old. Interestingly, among the age groups, those older than 65 are far more likely to play only on a tablet than only on a mobile phone (26% vs. 4%), with 55-64-year-olds displaying a similar preference (23% vs. 9%).

Half of Time Spent is With Handheld Device

Data from the “2012 PopCap Games Mobile Gaming Research” indicates that half of all game playing time spent by mobile gamers is with a handheld device, such as a mobile phone (33%), tablet (13%), or handheld game player (4%). Desktop or laptop computers (32%) and game consoles (18%) account for the remaining time spent playing games.

Limiting responses to just mobile devices, two-thirds play only on a mobile phone, while 12% limit their play to a tablet, and 21% play on both devices.

Proportion of New Gamers on the Rise

The proportion of new mobile gamers – those who have played for less than 1 year – continues to rise when compared to previous years. 44% this year said they were new to playing mobile games, including 29% who have only been playing for between 1 and 6 months. This represents an almost 30% increase from 34% in 2011 who had been playing for less than a year, and is double the proportion in 2009 who had been playing for that amount of time.

Overall, 44% of the US and UK mobile device owners surveyed said they had played a mobile game in the past month. This compares to comScore data released in June, which found that 1 in 3 US mobile phone subscribers played a game on their device during the 3-month average ending in April 2012.

Other Findings:

  • Mobile gamers who play on a mobile phone and a tablet spend more time playing on each device than those who limit their play to either one.
  • Three-quarters of gamers who only play on a tablet never previously played games on a mobile phone.
  • Among mobile gamers who play on a phone and a tablet, 40% say that their game play on their phone has declined and shifted towards their tablet.
  • 57% of mobile gamers say that this activity is a regular part of their day.
  • 42% of mobile gamers report spending at least 1 hour per week playing games on their devices. This is up from 29% in 2009.
  • 3 in 10 mobile gamers say they never play social games on their device, an increase from 26% last year.
  • 85% of respondents say that their mobile gaming activity has either stayed the same (39%) or increased (46%) over the past year.
  • A slight majority have spent real money to purchase a mobile game, game currency, and/or game content in the past year. The average amount spent on mobile gaming was $21.24 in 2011, down from $29.21 a year earlier. That amount is expected to increase to $29.04 this year and $30.60 next year.
  • Smartphone ownership among mobile gamers has increased 16% over the past year, and 36% of mobile gamers own a tablet.

About the Data: The PopCap research was conducted by Information Solutions Group (ISG) exclusively for PopCap Games. The results are based on 2,301 online surveys completed by members of the world’s largest online ePanel (Toluna) in the US and UK between April 25 and May 1, 2012. To qualify for participation in the survey, individuals had to own and use a mobile device (phone and/or tablet). Among these mobile device owners, 1,004 were identified as mobile gamers (those who played a game on their mobile device in the past month).