Mobile gaming in Europe: Trends, devices and monetisation
comScore estimates smartphone penetration to reach 55% in EU5 (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain) which is equal to 132 million users (see Pic. 1). Of all mobile devices bought in the EU5 region in October 2012, 73% were smartphones. The smartphone landscape is dominated by Google Android (59% of all new devices), followed by Apple iOS (22%) (see Pic. 2). Tablets reached 15% penetration of smartphone user base with iPads holding 60% of the total tablet market in EU5.
Tremendous growth of smartphones and tablet devices has had a huge impact on popularisation of mobile games.
According to comScore, almost one third of all EU5 users (73 million) occasionally play mobile games on their devices and 18 million users play mobile games on a daily basis – up 34% from October 2011.
The number of people playing games downloaded from the app stores has increased 41% year-over-year (YoY), while the number of native / preloaded games players dropped 10% YoY in Q4 2012.
Twenty million players in EU5 prefer freebie and trials: the number of people downloading free games increased 52% and the number of those playing trial games increased 25% from October 2011.
Top 3 purchased game genres are: casino, strategy and card games. Action / adventure, role playing and kids / family show the strongest YoY growth: 90%, 57% and 55% accordingly. Country-wise, 32% of mobile players are in the United Kingdom, 24% – in Germany and 23% – in Italy. Top 3 devices Europeans use for playing mobile games are: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy Ace.
In-game purchasing seems to be one of the most effective ways of games monetisation so far: as of October 2012, 14% of all mobile gamers made in-game purchases; 80% of these users had a smartphone. Compared to users of connected devices, 36% of mobile gamers recall seeing in-game ads.