Newzoo announced that the number of mobile gamers in the U.S. has grown from 75 million to 101 million, of which 69 percent plays on smartphones and 21 percent on tablets. Most importantly, the number of paying players has grown 35 percent to 37 million Americans, or 36 percent of all mobile gamers.
The National Gamers Surveys that involved 17,000 respondents, in combination with monthly iOS and Android game revenue and download data of the top 200 grossing games, leads the company to to believe that mobile gaming is set for another year of double-digit revenue growth in the U.S.
Newzoo says that of all American mobile gamers, 19 million play on an iPhone, or 28 percent of all smartphone gamers, while an additional 18 million plays games on an iPod Touch. In the tablet gaming space, the iPad is dominant with a share of 60 percent, or 12.7 million Americans.
Additionally, Apple has the strongest position when it comes to revenue; in March 2012, all iOS devices combined earned 84 percent of mobile revenues generated by the top 200 grossing games in the three stores combined: iPad, iPhone/iPod App Store and Google PlayStore. For both Android and iOS devices, the majority of money is not spent on downloading games but within the games: 91 percent for both Android and iOS games.
“When analyzing Apple’s successful monetization, there is one dominant factor outside of differences in audience demographics and preferences: Apple requires users to connect their credit card information directly to their account, thus creating a seamless purchase experience,” said Newzoo’s CEO Peter Warman. “I can hardly imagine any other company in the world that would be able to get away with this, including Google and Microsoft. Facebook can come a long way, but Amazon clearly has the best chance and is proving this as we speak.”
Americans have overwhelmingly switched to playing games on smartphones and tablets, with only 19 percent still using a regular phone for playing games, while 34 percent still using their regular phone to play in France. Both the U.S. and the U.K. have a similar share of mobile gamers who use a smartphone to play games (69 percent and 75 percent respectively), but in the U.S., Android takes 16 percent of the revenues, whereas in the U.K. this figure is the lowest of all countries involved at only 6 percent, which can be explained by the huge uptake of Kindle Fires in the U.S. with 17.4 million active users.
“The Kindle Fire, being the runner-up tablet in the US only 3 months after launch, has single-handedly doubled Android’s share of revenues in the U.S. compared to European countries,” adds Warman on Amazon and its Kindle Fire. “It will do the same in the UK soon after launch, but the rest of Europe might be a different story. Now that we have monthly revenue insight into game revenues across both Apple’s App Stores as well as Google PlayStore we will soon be able to report on this. And after that, there is Mac versus PC apps, and then finally . . . the battle for the TV. Exciting times.”
Core gamers are increasingly playing smartphones with 62 percent of core console and PC gamers in the U.S. also playing games on smartphones or tablets. The combination of casual gameplay and immersive experience is increasingly appealing to lapsed gamers, a sort of “mid-core” market.