NPD Finds Nearly One Quarter of All Video Gamers Are Smartphone Exclusive

Research giant NPD Group announced in a new report that video gamers are growing increasingly more attached to their smartphones.

According to NPD’s “Mobile Gaming 2012” report, among all app gamers, 59 percent of total game play is done on a mobile device.

“The growing importance of app gamers, defined as mobile gamers who play most often on a smartphone or tablet, is demonstrated by the fact that 23 percent of these app gamers only play on mobile devices,” NPD says.

When comparing the gaming behavior of gamers in 2012 vs. 2011, almost half of gamers said they are playing mobile games more this year than last year, with the main reasons for this increase being free apps (37 percent), followed closely by portability and convenience (34 percent).

“Many mobile gaming consumers have grown accustomed to gaming for free, making it essential to find the sweet spot for pricing that encourages purchasing by as many consumers as possible,” says Liam Callahan, an analyst with The NPD Group. “Mobile game developers and publishers need to be able to maximize their opportunities by identifying ways to increase the number of gamers willing to upgrade their free apps or pay for in-app purchases, which currently stand at close to 30 percent. Another opportunity for the industry as a whole is to convert mobile-only gamers to engage in other gaming activities across portables, consoles and PC’s where we see more money being spent per user.”