Gaming has become a $99 billion market, with mobile games accounting for $36 billion of that in 2016, according to market researcher Newzoo. And Facebook says its own statistics show that games have spread out more than ever before.
Facebook’s data from 12 countries shows that 43 percent of mobile gamers are parents, and those parents mostly play during the prime-time TV hours of 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Among mobile game parents who spend money, 90 percent play mobile games as a family activity. Eighty-nine percent play mobile games with kids as an educational activity, and 83 percent buy mobile game apps for their kids. Thanks to its social reach, Facebook has a big share of all kinds of game ad revenue, giving it a window into data on gamer activity.
On average, 71 percent of the gaming audience plays on smartphones, compared to 64 percent on PCs, 34 percent on tablets, and 26 percent on consoles. Among mobile gamers, 45 percent play while waiting, 44 percent play while commuting or traveling, and 21 percent play while at work.
In a comparison of developing markets and developed markets, gamers in developing markets are 1.8 times more likely to use their smartphone as the primary gaming device. They also spend 16 minutes more per session on their smartphones and play 1.6 times more gaming sessions per week on smartphones.
And more women play on mobile. Forty-seven percent of smartphone gamers are female, compared to 46 percent on tablet, 41 percent on PCs, and 33 percent on consoles. Among women, the top genres are puzzle strategy, casual/social, action, and card games. For men, the top genres are strategy, action, sports, puzzle, and role-playing games.
Across all 12 markets, mobile game spenders are 2.7 times more likely to stay in-game for a sense of community and belonging. They are 2.3 times more likely to drop out if community members stop playing. They are two times more likely to stay in-game for social connections, 2.9 times more likely to pay so they can beat their friends, and 2.8 times more likely to pay to level up quickly.
About 68 percent of mobile game spenders discover games on social network platforms. 57 percent find games via photo and video services. 54 percent find games on chat apps, and 34 percent find games via word of mouth. The Facebook study was based on a survey of adults (conducted by TNS for Facebook IQ) in Brazil, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.