The world of computer gaming is often thought to be male dominated. Today’s games have a more universal appeal than the stereotypical teenage boy using a Sony Megadrive console: the platforms we play our games on have also evolved. Nokia have a lot to answer to when they first put the Snake game onto their phones, because today the mobile gaming industry is big business. According to Statista, smartphone gaming is worth over $12 billion and amounts to 16% of total gaming revenue. Many of today’s smartphones are capable gaming devices (until the battery runs out) running either the Apple iOS or Google Android platforms.
The smartphone has moved from a geeks’ plaything into a mainstream consumer device and gaming is an important pastime of many smartphone owners. Facebook IQ, Facebook’s analysis and storytelling team, have released a survey that highlights that almost half of smartphone gamers are female across the twelve countries measured from around the world. The survey also points out that the number of female gamers on the smartphone is increasing. The survey also discovered that the smartphone was the top gaming device for all users at 71%, outscoring the computer (at 64%), the tablet (34%) and the console (at 26%). The data also determined that people who pay for games at least once a month are almost three times more likely to stay with a game for that “sense of community and belonging” than those of us who do not spend money on our games. When it comes to discovering new titles to play, over two thirds of game spenders said they used social media. 57% said that they use photo and video services and 54% said they discovered new games via chat applications. Approximately one third of respondents discovered new games by word of mouth.
These statistics highlight why gaming is an important business for the social platforms such as Facebook, and also why it is vital that Nintendo does not pin all of its hopes on consoles but that it invests into the mobile (smartphone) gaming arena, including smartphone accessories. Of course, Pokemon Go is evidence enough that the smartphone gaming trend is set to continue as its daily active users have now surpassed that of the likes of Twitter and Tinder.