Mobile phone games getting highly addictive, says ISG

ISG Logo Forget those PS and Xbox consoles when mobile phones are the new weapons of choice for those who can’t do without some gaming action while on the move. According to an Information Solutions Group (ISG) study revealed by PopCap Games, one third of U.S. and U.K. adults claim to be mobile phone gamers. The number of people resorting to gaming on the handset has apparently crossed that of PC and console gaming buffs.

73% of the U.K. respondents confess to having played a mobile phone game in the past as pitted against 44% of their U.S. counterparts. The 33.6% of participants who played a game on their phones in the month preceding the study qualified as ‘mobile phone gamers’. 24.6% were grouped into the ‘avid mobile phone gamers’ bracket for having played a title in the week before ISG’s survey.

“Mobile games are, along with social games, the hottest sector of the video game industry by far,” remarked Dennis Ryan, EVP of Worldwide Publishing at PopCap. “As more people purchase smartphones and the entire process of finding, purchasing and playing mobile games becomes as simple as browsing the internet, the mobile games market is going to accelerate even more.”

97% of avid mobile phone gamers and 84% of all mobile phone gamers play on their mobile devices at least once in several days. 92% of handset gamers who use a smartphone are cited to play on these gadgets once a week. Interestingly, 44% of mobile phone gamers voted for their phones as opposed to the 21% and 30% who chose video game consoles and PCs, respectively, as the most used gaming-capable gizmo for playing on.

And we hear the coins chinking for companies like PopCap who develop titles for this platform as people shell out cold hard cash to support the addiction. 43% of mobile gamers and 49% of smartphone owners have upgraded a free trial game to the paid version in the past year. The regular smartphone user bought almost twice as many games as people with normal handsets and even spent an extra $10 on this sort of entertainment.

This international ISG survey was conducted between the January 25 to 31, 2011 timeline. It takes into account 2,425 online surveys submitted by U.S. and U.K. members of the Toluna ePanel.