Mobile gamers the new mass-market as 250 million pick Android and iOS

The era of the hardcore console gamer is over

Mobile gamers the new mass-market as 250 million pick Android and iOS

Even though both iPhone and Android could be described as household names, it's still not uncommon for mobile gaming to be dismissed by those more used to getting their fix on consoles.

Numbers posted by Flurry, however, suggest that, as far as where the mass market lies, there's been something of a sea change of late.

Smartphone gamers now not only outnumber their console counterparts, but they're also more affluent and educated.

In short, as far as advertisers are concerned, the mobile gamer now represents the mass-market.

Going mobile

In total, Flurry estimates there are now 250 million unique iOS and Android devices around the globe, with 750,000 additional units sold daily.

That's a number that compares favourably to the 180 million Wiis, Xbox 360s and PlayStation 3s currently on the market. Smartphones also outnumber handhelds, with Flurry pegging DS and PSP sales at 200 million units.

While, of course, smartphones aren't dedicated gaming platforms – no doubt plenty of users own handsets without ever downloading Angry Birds and the like – Flurry's numbers claim 37 percent of all apps started up by users are games.

That's a figure that's only set to rise, as handset shipments continue to accelerate at the very same time annual sales of home consoles are falling.

Flurry of females

While the shift in consumer base represents a challenge for developers – the wave of mobile-social games a likely reaction to what's perceived as a prevalence for casual titles - it's a change advertisers are only too keen to welcome.

On the whole, mobile gamers represent a broader spectrum of consumers than the traditional 18-34 year old 'hardcore' console gamer, meaning a wider range or products can be dangled in front of their eyes.

Indeed, according to Flurry's numbers, females actually outnumber males when it comes to mobile, with their age range as a whole spanning between 18 and 49.

Power play

"The video game industry is transitioning from an era of hardcore male gamers who have dominated the landscape, to more mass-market usage across mobile social games," says Flurry's Peter Farago.

"18–34 year old males are being supplanted as the most attractive segment to target by big brands and agencies. The mobile social gamer segment is highly engaged, younger, made up of more females, more educated and more affluent.

"In terms of usage behaviour, they use social games far more often than they watch prime-time television shows, and using for 25 minutes per day, are heavy users of this interactive content," Farago concludes.

"Mobile social gamers are the new mass-market powerhouse."

[source: Flurry]

Keith Andrew
Keith Andrew
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font. He's also Pocket Gamer's resident football gaming expert and, thanks to his work on, monitors the market share of all mobile OSes on a daily basis.