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Mobile Phone Gaming Market Adoption Shifts

comScore released the results of their latest market study of mobile phone gaming -- highlighting the potential for market growth, despite a 13-percent decline in the number of U.S. mobile gamers during the past year.

This overall decline was driven by a 35 percent decline in mobile gaming among feature phone subscribers, who represent approximately 80 percent of the total market -- which contrasted with the 60 percent increase in the number of gamers via smartphone.

The inevitable ascent of the mobile gaming market depends on smartphone subscriber's higher propensity to play games on their mobile devices. Also, their heavier gaming activity across nearly every dimension.

Smartphone subscribers (47.1 percent) are three times more likely than feature phone subscribers (15.7) to play games on their device at least once a month. They are more than five times as likely to play games almost every day and far surpass their feature phone counterparts across various methods of game play.

Smartphone subscribers also install significantly more games on their devices -- with 27.3 percent having installed at least one game, compared to just 5.6 percent of feature phone subscribers. A third of smartphone subscribers with games have more than five games installed on their phones, while less than one percent of feature phone subscribers have that many games installed.

Smartphone subscribers are more likely to play mobile games than feature phone subscribers across every gaming genre. The genre with the highest penetration among smartphone subscribers is Arcade Puzzle games at 12.9 percent, followed by Card games (11.9 percent), Word/Number games (11.4 percent) and Casino games (7.6 percent).

While casual game genres have higher penetration than hardcore genres (sports, racing, action/adventure, first-person shooter), the hardcore genres exhibit significantly higher adoption among smartphone subscribers.

This latest finding highlights the importance of the smartphone device in driving further adoption of higher quality gaming experiences.

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