GamesBeat

Valentine’s Day is potentially bigger than Christmas for mobile gaming

Above: Campus Life's dating mechanic helped the game capitalize on player engagement.

Image Credit: Pocket Gems

Many gamers are spending Valentine’s Day with their true loves: their smartphones.

It looks like Feb. 14 is the new king of mobile-gaming holidays. Consumers are spending more time with mobile games on Valentine’s Day than they do on Christmas, according to Animal Voyage and Campus Life developer Pocket Gems. The studio found that fans played around 9 percent more than the average on Feb. 14. That’s compared to Christmas, which was up only around 2 percent.

The company provided the following chart that shows engagement from November through February of 2013:

Pocket Gem's reveals engagement across several major holidays.

Above: Pocket Gem’s reveals engagement across several major holidays.

Image Credit: Pocket Gems

Holidays are traditionally big events for the mobile-gaming industry, but most publishers assume that Christmas is the time to strike. People get new devices during that gift-giving holiday, and that encourages gamers to hop on the Apple App Store or Google Play to find something to play.

“People are coming back more times on Valentine’s Day,” Pocket Gems head of analytics Michael Fedor told GamesBeat. “That’s a critical metric in the measurement of engagement.”

Fedor says that the team at Pocket Gems is split on explaining this trend. Some think that it’s couples playing games together. Others more pessimistically believe this is a sign that single gamers turn to their mobile games as a way to shut out all that gooey romance crap when they’re alone.

“It’s funny because it’s open to interpretation,” said Fedor. “It gives you insight into the person interpreting the data.”

Regardless of why people play more on Valentine’s Day, Pocket Gems is looking to capitalize. Last year, the company introduced a new dating mechanic in its Campus Life social-life simulator in February. This tied in with with the holiday, and it was was very popular with gamers.

The studio thinks other developers could benefit from this as well by releasing Valentine’s Day content or creating quests that incorporates love and dating.

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More information:

Pocket Gems is a mobile entertainment company anchored in gaming that was founded in 2009. Since pioneering free-to-play mobile games, Pocket Gems’ titles have been downloaded more than 150 million times across iOS and Android. A top... read more »

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