A new study by Censuswide, on behalf of independent mobile games and growth platform AppLovin, reveals that three-quarters (75%) of Brits have played a mobile game, with smartphone users turning to their favourite gaming apps three times a week on average – and women are bigger ‘gamers’ than they think.
The research on the current consumer appetite for mobile gaming also identified the top four qualities that consumers think make a good mobile game.
Researchers identified that games that:
- are free (54%),
- are easy to play and understand (42%),
- challenge the brain (39%),
- and have short sessions (25%).
are likely to be most popular.
However, game-makers don’t have a lifelong blueprint from these four alone, consumers won’t have exclusive loyalty to a single game – researchers found that, on average, respondents look for new games to play four times a month, showing that no matter how good the game is, Brits are always keen to try something new.
In the survey of over 2,000 UK general respondents, just 26% of women identified themselves as “gamers”. Despite this, 80% of women have played a mobile game. Of these women, over half have tried their hand at King’s casual puzzle smash hit, Candy Crush, and 35% have played mobile gaming’s mega-franchise Angry Birds.
The research found that casual games like these are dominated by female players, with 26% of women choosing it as their favourite video game genre. This is further backed up by the fact that casual games represented on average eight out of the top 10 most downloaded games on the App Store each week in 2018, up from six of 10 in 2017 (according to unique data from Sensor Tower, furnished for AppLovin). The rise of casual games is driving a new type of “gamer”, who, despite not identifying with the label, are powering the genre to the top of the charts.
“This research turns the stereotype of the gamer on its head”, said Simon Spaull, Managing Director of EMEA at AppLovin. “Smartphones have really changed the game and opened up the target audience to a much larger base; the mobile gaming market has really grown in recent years, due in part to these new demographics.”
The research also found that consumers see mobile games as more than just cheap entertainment. Just over three in 10 (31%) of those surveyed who have played a game on their smartphones play mobile games to relieve stress, with 39% going so far as to say that mobile games make them feel relaxed. Overall, playing mobile games was ranked fourth in the most popular ways to relax (40%), behind watching TV (63%), reading a book (43%), and going for a walk (41%). With nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents spending up to 30 minutes on gameplay, mobile games are being recognised among the traditional stress-busters, with their short bursts of gameplay helping Brits unwind.