The digital games market is huge and mobile game downloads have captured close to half of it, according to the Online Gaming 2011, a report published by market research firm NPD group.
The study also says that mobile gaming is more like a compliment to conventional console games rather than being in competition with them. The exact percentage of mobile game downloads was not been revealed though.
According to Anita Frazier of NPD, “Mobile gaming represents one of the fastest growing segments of the digital games market, and the potential for future growth remains strong as more consumers are using smartphones for games of all types, including the increasingly popular mobile game apps. It is important to keep in perspective that the full-game price points on mobile devices are generally lower than those for console and portables systems, so mobile’s full game download unit share does not translate to a comparable level of consumer spend.”
The study has only taken full game downloads into account. Add-on content or micro-transactions have not been included in it. Also, the study did not take into account the prices of mobile games downloaded by users.
Hence, the study does not differentiate between a game of $1 and one that costs $60.
Meanwhile, 60 per cent of the respondents said they will spend on console games even after having mobile games, whereas 40 per cent said they will spend less. This is understandable considering the mobile gaming experience is different from the experience of console gaming.
The most surprising part of the study is that 75 per cent of the people surveyed wanted to own a physical copy of the game instead of the digital version. Those who favoured a digital version went for the convenience of downloading the game without having to go to the store.
Mobile gaming is likely to get a big push in India as well, especially due to its lower price compared to console games.
The recent announcement by Samsung to introduce operator billing for digital products bought online should encourage Indian mobile users to purchase more games.