Mobile Gaming 2012 Jumps 50% --NPD Market Research

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By Erik Pineda | October 15, 2012 2:34 PM EST

Mobile gaming is constantly exploding as a new industry report showed that close to 50 per cent of gamers have opted to explore gaming apps exclusively deployed on the millions of mobile devices out there.

In fact, according to market research firm The NPD Group, practically all games that were played in 2012 were either on smartphones and tablet computers, with 59 per cent of the 5923 persons polled by NPD researchers affirming they are now more attuned with gaming on-the-go.

The main allure for this 'new breed of gamers' were free apps, which was cited by 37 per cent of the respondents as the biggest reason they are now immersed on games that come with mobile computing devices.

"Many mobile gaming consumers have grown accustomed to gaming for free, making it essential to find the sweet spot for pricing that encourages purchasing by as many consumers as possible," NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan said in a press release issued last week.

Many users, some 34 per cent, also pointed to the convenience offer by mobile gaming, highlighting the ease of accessing mobile game apps, which are downloaded in seconds and can be played on immediately afterwards.

Also, about 50 per cent of those surveyed have admitted they are more inclined to play games installed on their mobile phones or tablets while another 23 per cent declared their intention to focus on mobile gaming, the new NPD report said.

Noteworthy of the reading that came with the report, NPD researchers said, is the trend that some 30 per cent of mobile gamers ended up shifting into paid game apps after periods of enjoying the free versions.

This suggests, Mr Callahan said, that "mobile game developers and publishers need to be able to maximize their opportunities by identifying ways to increase the number of gamers willing to upgrade their free apps or pay for in-app purchases."

He added that the challenge is there for the gaming industry to configure mobile gaming apps in way that would convince mobile gamers to graduate into gaming consoles and PCs, which remains as the lucrative segments of the gaming world.

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