Six in 10 (57%) overall US and UK mobile phone gamers have recommended a mobile phone game to someone else, according to [pdf] a new report from casual video game provider PopCap Games and Information Solutions Group (ISG). Among avid mobile phone gamers (those who have played in the last week), the figure rises to 64%.
In addition, smartphone owners (63%) are more likely than feature phone owners (48%) to recommend a mobile game, and US gamers (60%) are more likely than UK gamers (53%).
Fun is Key to Recommendation
Report data strongly suggests that making mobile phone games fun is the best way to get gamers to recommend them. When asked what characteristics influence their decision to make a recommendation, fun to play was the dominant choice for overall and avid mobile phone gamers (86% of each group cited this characteristic).
No other individual characteristic approached the popularity of fun. Forty-nine percent of overall gamers and 52% of avid gamers said easy to learn, closely followed by challenging (45% of overall gamers and 47% of avid gamers).
Interestingly, good value for the price ranked fifth out of 11th characteristics with overall gamers and fourth with avid gamers.
Fun Even More Critical to Feature Phone Owners
Looking at characteristics that influence recommendations as they are ranked by smartphone and feature phone owners, it becomes clear that fun is even more critical for those who play games on a feature phone (90%, compared to 84% of smartphone owners). Meanwhile, smartphone owners are roughly 10% more likely to cite a game being easy to learn as influencing a recommendation (51% compared to 45% of feature phone owners).
The largest difference, however, occurs in percentages mentioning a game being a good value for the price. Smartphone owners are much more cost-conscious in general, with 44% mentioning this characteristic, 37.5% more than the 32% of feature phone owners.
The other characteristic with a significant difference in response rates is the least popular overall, a game being unique or unusual (215 of smartphone owners, 15% of feature phone owners).
Free Games Primary Driver of Increased Play
Seventy-nine percent of overall mobile gamers said the availability of more free games is a factor driving increased play, followed by having a new phone (59%) and improved graphics (48%), according to other results from the report.
Response rates among overall mobile gamers and avid mobile gamers were generally similar. In 2009, only 60% of mobile gamers cited free games, although it was still the number one driver. The response rate was also notably lower in 2009 for the factors of improved graphics and games being a good value for the price.
About the Data: This international research was conducted by Information Solutions Group for PopCap Games. The results are based on 2,425 online surveys completed by mobile phone owners in the US and UK between January 25 and January 31, 2011.