Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Year of Pain Indeed | comScore: Smartphone Transition Sees 13% US Mobile Gamer Decline

That said... there is light at end the of the tunnel. “Although the number of mobile gamers has declined in the past year, there is reason for significant optimism about the future of this market,” said Mark Donovan, comScore SVP Mobile and senior analyst. “As the market transitions from feature phones to smartphones, the dynamics of gameplay are also shifting towards a higher quality experience. As a result, we can expect to see a profound increase in adoption of this activity, both in terms of audience size and overall engagement.”

This report basically codifies the trend a lot of us have been observing in the mobile games market... that the carrier deck, feature phone business is declining at a faster pace (in terms of overall audience and business in the short term) than the promising/exciting smartphone business has the ability to offset. I think, ultimately, we'll see the development of a smaller, more active, more satisfied, customer base with a higher propensity to consume games... who will create a bigger market. I've always believed that there were a lot of barely engaged users out there being counted as gamers, who'd accidentally play preloaded Tetris on their RAZRs every couple of months. Of course, the competition for these higher quality customers is far more intense than it ever was in the feature phone world and the price points are lower (with no carrier subscription models), so as y'all said in my poll last month, this will be a year of pain for many publishers. For those that haven't adapted well to the new smartphone paradigm... pain will only be the beginning of your worries.

Read comScore's entire release here.

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