Mobile Phone Remains a Casual Gaming Platform, Despite Tech Advances

December 27, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Videogames

Consumers still perceive mobile phones as casual gaming devices, despite recent efforts to introduce more advanced games and features to the platform, according to a Parks Associates report on mobile and portable gaming.

Fewer than 10% of on-the-go internet gamers want to play core or console-centric games on a mobile phone, according to the report, “The New Frontier: Portable and Mobile Gaming,” scheduled for release this month.

In comparison, 55% want to play puzzle and card games on mobile phones and more than 30% want word and arcade games.

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“In the mobile gaming industry, consumer awareness lags behind technological advancements,” said Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai, director, Broadband and Gaming, Parks Associates. “New 3D and multiplayer mobile games look great in demos, but casual games are where the money is and will be for the next few years.”

More than 30% of those interested in gaming on-the-go are interested in playing sports and action/adventure games on a portable game player, and another 29% and 27% are interested in playing driving/flying games and first-person shooter games on portable devices.

“Portable game players will maintain strong growth momentum because they provide an experience yet to be matched by mobile phones,” Cai said. “Next-generation players will likely include mobile broadband, which would enhance their value proposition.”

An earlier Parks report, “Casual Gaming Market Update,” found that US consumers play online games more often than they watch online video or visit social-networking sites.

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“Despite the growing popularity of Youtube, MySpace, and Facebook, online gaming remains the king of online entertainment, driven largely by online casual gaming activities,” said James Kuai, a Research Analyst at Parks Associates.

Growth was a different matter, however. “The year-over-year growth rate of frequent online gamers was 79%, significantly higher than that for social networks (46%) but lower than the growth of frequent users of video streaming sites (123%).”

About the report: “The New Frontier: Portable and Mobile Gaming” analyzes trends in the mobile and portable gaming industries; profiles major publishers, developers, technology providers, and carriers; provides consumer data regarding portable and mobile gaming; and forecasts market growth.

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