Only 15 percent of mobile gamers have ever paid for a phone game, says a new survey from casual games publisher PopCap, who recently polled some 1,100 AT&T wireless customers to find out about their play habits.
Most mobile gamers surveyed, at 76 percent, just play the free games that come pre-installed with their phone, and a third, or 33 percent, have downloaded free titles to their phone.
Those who buy mobile games have purchased on average 7.2 titles, and those newer to mobile games are more likely to purchase them. The largest deciding factor among the polling sample is genre -- 61 percent of respondents said liking the genre was the top factor influencing their mobile game purchase decisions. Reasonable pricing and enjoying demo versions were the other top-ranked reasons behind mobile purchases.
"Adoption of mobile games continues to grow, but conversion rate (free to paid players) remains low," says Michael Cai, vice president of video games research at analysis firm Interpret LLC.
"Business model diversification is one way to address this conundrum. In addition, more innovative games... and fewer clones and knock-offs are among the keys to unlocking the potential of the mobile gaming market."
Information Solutions Group conducted the research on PopCap's behalf via online surveys completed by 1,163 randomly-selected adult respondents between February 12 and March 6, 2009. The sampling consisted of North American AT&T mobile customers, and 337 respondents were men while 332 were women.