There are nearly 2 billion mobile gamers throughout the world, according to market research firm Newzoo, with more than half of the US population and nearly 70% of the country’s smartphone owners playing some type of game on their mobile devices.
Tapjoy recently conducted in-depth research to help us understand the mindset, motivations and behaviors of these gamers, and we published our findings in a report titled “The Changing Face of Mobile Gamers: What Brands Need to Know.” Within the report, we answer important questions about the type of people playing mobile games, what types of games they’re playing, when they are playing them, how those games make them feel, and so on.
You can download the complete report here, but on our blog we’ll be offering deeper analysis and further commentary on each of the report’s sections.
In this first installment of the series, we’ll answer the question of “Who is playing mobile games?” Because while a common misperception holds that most gamers are teenage boys playing in their parent’s basement, in fact this belief couldn’t be further from the truth. Today’s gamers — of the mobile variety, anyway — aren’t just one particular demographic of players: mobile gamers come in all ages, genders and income brackets.
Our study found that women make up 63 percent of the total mobile gaming population, with men making up the other 37 percent. This finding supports other research showing that women are the majority of mobile gamers, but it also suggests that the disparity might be even greater than previously thought.
For instance, a report presented by gaming consultancy Electronic Entertainment Design and Research at this year’s Game Developers Conference put the proportion of women at just 55 percent of mobile gamers, eight points below our estimate. Either way, women undoubtedly make up the majority of mobile gamers.
According to our data, nearly all age ranges are well represented within the mobile gaming community. Consumers 55 and over were the largest segment, representing 23 percent of the respondents. Consumers ages 25–34 represented 21 percent, while those 35–44 represented 19 percent.
Interestingly, older players tend to be more active players. Fifty-seven percent of mobile gamers age 55 and older say they play games at least ten times a week, the highest rate of any age group. By comparison, only 47 percent of players ages 18–24 play ten times a week or more.
Household Income Breakdown
Mobile gamers also come from a broad cross-section of economic levels, as shown by the variety in household incomes represented in our study. Those with a household income of $100,000 or more made up 17 percent of our study, with 15 percent of respondents making between $75,000 and $99,999 and 22 percent making between $50,000 and $74,999.
An interesting pattern emerged in our research showing that the higher a player’s household income, the more frequently they play mobile games. Sixty-two percent of those making more than $100,000 claim to play at least ten times a week, which is more than any other income bracket. The frequency declines as each income bracket declines, until reaching the lowest bracket — those making under $25,000, only 45 percent of which claim to play ten times a week or more.
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