Tuesday, May 5, 2009

PopCap Data Feast Puts A Rumbly in My Tumbly

The blogosphere is buzzing about the results of a survey that Information Solutions Group conducted for casual games publisher PopCap with ~1.2k randomly selected AT&T Mobility customers: Here are some key stats:
  • 57% of survey participants are mobile gamers (have played a mobile game in the last month)
  • 78% of mobile gamers have been playing for 1+ years, 55% for 3+ years
  • 26% of mobile gamers have paid to download games
  • 33% have downloaded free/demo mobile games
  • 76% of mobile gamers play pre-loaded free games that come with the handset
  • 61% said genre was the #1 factor influencing download of a paid game (followed by price & good free demo)...casual genres such as puzzles & cards dominate
  • 86% of mobile gamers play games on other platforms
  • 62% of gaming sessions are less than 15mins (it's still about snacking)
  • 71% of mobile gamers play on their phones for less than 1hr/week (troubling)
  • Paid game downloaders have purchased an average of 7.2 mobile games lifetime
  • Mobile gamers with 5+ years experience are downloading fewer games than new gamers
  • Mobile gamers most often claim to have played Tetris (20%), Bejeweled (18%) and Solitaire (17%)...after all these years, yikes!
  • Men play games more often, women play for longer (no comment)
  • 50% of mobile gamers played during work hours
  • 32% of mobile gamers said they were “somewhat or very likely” to purchase a mobile game in 2009

It's a veritable data feast, but in the end I feel more queasy than satisfied. If this survey is to be believed (and I'll let someone else weigh in on the statistical viability)...it seems like consumers still have very little passion for mobile games & continue to view them as casual distractions. More depressing is that the same games that were dominating sales 3years ago are still the most popular titles. It would be really interesting to know what % of the survey participants were iPhone owners, and how their results varied from the group at large.

But I needed just one more wafer-thin data point...so I decided to play with some of these numbers to see what I could deduce about AT&T's overall games business. Assuming gamers buy 1 game per quarter @ an avg price of $5.99 then (if my math is correct) AT&T Mobility is making $23mil per month in games revenue (78mil x 57% x 26% x 0.33 x $5.99) or $276mil per year. Actually, that doesn't seem too far-fetched considering that would be 33% of the $845mil US games market as estimated by Gartner. Better?...well considering that means that mobile games revenue per AT&T subscriber is just 30¢ per month (or just 2% of Data ARPU), maybe not. Better bring me a bucket.

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