Over a third of Americans play mobile games every day, but a majority don’t consider themselves to be “gamers,” according to the latest data from AppLovin.
The Mobile Gamer Insights Report studies the behavior of over 4,000 smartphone owners in the US and UK, including 2,062 US general respondents aged 16 or older. The research was conducted by Censuswide between December 21 and 28, 2018. The report defines Gen Z as those ages 16-24 and Boomers as respondents over the age of 55.
AppLovin found that 67 percent of respondents play mobile games 3-4 times per week, but would not consider themselves to be a “gamer.” This sentiment is more prevalent among female players. Forty percent of women that have played mobile games on their smartphones do so every day but only 24 percent would consider themselves a “gamer.” On the other hand, 36 percent of male respondents claim the title proudly.
Older generations are much less likely to call themselves a “gamer.” Thirty-three percent of adults aged 55 and over play mobile games daily and yet 85 percent shy away from the title “gamer.” Meanwhile, half of Gen Z (53 percent) would consider themselves “gamers.”
This data reveals that mobile gamers are varied in age, gender and genre preferences—something brands should keep in mind when targeting the demographic.
AppLovin’s report echoes the 2015 findings of Pew Research, although comparing the two suggests a wider acceptance of what being a “gamer” means among Americans. A survey of 2,001 US adults found that 15 percent of men called themselves a “gamer,” compared to only six percent of women.
Casual games like match-3 puzzles are the most popular genre among players at 33 percent, followed by strategy games at 16 percent. Mobile titles are generally designed for quick gameplay sessions and many are free to play.
It’s no surprise, then, that AppLovin found just over half—55 percent—of US respondents play mobile games to pass the time, such as in a doctor’s office waiting room or while commuting. Relaxation is another common reason for picking up the phone at 44 percent.
“Growth in the casual game market continues to accelerate year after year,” said Alex Malafeev, co-founder of Sensor Tower in a statement. “In 2018, our research indicates a 20 percent increase in casual mobile games across both Google Play and the App Store’s top 10 mobile games as compared to 2017.”
According to SuperData Research, mobile games accounted for $61.3 billion of digital video game revenue in 2018—nearly twice as much games on PC.