Mobile games claim half of all game downloads

Digital games downloads for mobile games devices now account for around half of all full game downloads.

That’s according to a new report entitled Online Gaming 2011 from US stats body NPD. The figure does not include money spent on micro-transactions or game add-ons.

Mobile gaming represents one of the fastest growing segments of the digital games market, and potential for future growth remains strong as more consumers are using smartphones for games of all types, including the increasingly popular mobile game apps," analyst Anita Frazier stated.

"It is important to keep in perspective that the full-game price points on mobile devices are generally lower than those for console and portables systems , so mobile’s full game download unit share does not translate to a comparable level of consumer spend.”

The trend is said to remain consistent even among those who also own a games console, with 60 per cent saying they spent the same or more on console and portable games since buying a games-friendly mobile.

While there is clearly some substitution for spending on traditional forms of gaming among 40 per cent of consumers, the majority of mobile consumers indicate that this spending is incremental to their spend on console or portable games,” Frazier added.

"Which makes sense since the games and devices provide for different types of gaming occasions and experiences.”

However, when given a choice between physical and digital games purchases, 75 per cent said they preferred the former as they like owning a "real" copy. Those who preferred digital did so due to the convenience.

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