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popcap-frequency-of-mobile-phone-game-play-mar11.gifAn 84% majority of mobile gamers in the US and UK play mobile games at least once a week, according to [pdf] a new report from casual video game provider PopCap Games and Information Solutions Group (ISG). A full 97% of avid mobile gamers (those who have played in the past week) play mobile games at least once a week.

Daily mobile game play has close to tripled since 2009, when 13% of mobile gamers played daily, compared to 35% in 2011. In addition, 41% of mobile gamers reported only playing mobile games once a month in 2009, compared to just 2% in 2011.

68% of Mobile Gamers Play Less than 1 Hr/Week

popcap-hours-per-week-mobile-phone-game-play-mar11.gifSixty-eight percent of all mobile gamers and 61% of avid mobile gamers reported playing mobile games less than one hour per week. This was similar to the 71% of mobile gamers who reported playing mobile games for this amount of time in 2009.

Thirty-seven percent of smartphone owners spend at least one hour per week playing mobile games, compared to 25% of feature phone owners.

2/3 of Mobile Gamers Been Playing at Least 1 Year

popcap-length-of-habit-mobile-phone-game-play-mar11.gifTwo-thirds (66%) of mobile gamers and avid mobile gamers have been playing at least one year. This is notably lower than the 78% of mobile gamers who reported having been playing for at least one year in 2009, which survey analysis indicates reflects many new mobile gamers have started playing since then.

Free Games Primary Driver of Increased Play

popcap-factors-influencing-more-mobile-phone-game-play-mar11.gifSeventy-nine percent of overall mobile gamers said the availability of more free games is a factor driving increased play, followed by having a new phone (59%) and improved graphics (48%).

Response rates among overall mobile gamers and avid mobile gamers were generally similar. In 2009, only 60% of mobile gamers cited free games, although it was still the number one driver. The response rate was also notably lower in 2009 for the factors of improved graphics and games being a good value for the price.

Distraction, Relaxation Primary Mobile Game Benefits

popcap-benefits-experienced-from-mobile-phone-game-play-mar11.gifWhen asked what benefits they receive from playing mobile games, respondents most frequently said distraction from the issues of everyday life (57%), as well as relief from boredom and becoming more relaxed/less stressed out (56%) each. These three responses were far more common than any other. The next most frequently mentioned benefits were accomplishment/competitive spirit (34%) and improved mood/feeling of well-being and improved hand-eye coordination/dexterity (33% each).

There were not significant differences among response rates of overall mobile gamers and avid mobile gamers. A far smaller percentage of mobile gamers surveyed in 2009 responded with each of these benefits except for distraction from everyday life.

Comparing standard phone and smartphone users, smartphone users were about twice as likely to say mobile games are more energetic and increase productivity, and slightly less likely to say they provide a distraction or relief from boredom. US mobile gamers were more likely than their UK counterparts to say mobile games provide a distraction, relief from boredom, relaxation, energy, and productivity, among other response differentials.

More than Half of Mobile Owners Play Games

More than half (52%) of US and UK mobile phone owners have played a game on a mobile phone at some time in the past, according to other survey results. UK respondents were much more likely (73%) than US respondents (44%) to have played a mobile game at least once.

About the Data: This international research was conducted by Information Solutions Group for PopCap Games. The results are based on 2,425 online surveys completed by mobile phone owners in the US and UK between January 25 and January 31, 2011.

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