September 1, 2013

Survey results

A month ago I have put together a survey focusing on the current trends in the mobile gaming industry (click here to see the questions). Thanks to everyone who took the time to complete it, I now have a fair number of opinions to consider.

Because of the fact that most of the questions weren’t compulsory, the numbers in the graphs below sometimes don’t add up to the total number of participants. Let’s see the results!

Demographics


The survey was completed by 71 people, mostly from Romania and Hungary. There were also a few participants from the United States and other countries as well. The gender ratio is 73% male and 27% female, most of them are between the ages 21 and 24.

Country
Gender
Age








Technology


78 percent of the participants use a version of Android on their smartphone (25% Ice Cream Sandwich tied with 25% Jelly Bean), while 4% had iOS. The survey wasn’t intended for geeks only: 11 people didn’t know the type or the version of their phones’ operating system and 9 said that they don’t have a smartphone. 

Phone OS
Tablet OS
Windows 8

Most of the people (more precisely 45, that’s 64%) don’t have a tablet and 62% of them don’t even plan to buy one in the future. Out of the 25 people who use tablet computers, 18 have Android devices while 3 possess iPads. Surprisingly there were 3 people with Windows 8 tablets and someone with an unidentified OS. There was also a question about the Windows 8 App Store, out of the 25 people who are using Windows 8 on a regular basis 11 (that’s 44 percent) download apps frequently from the App Store (strangely not all of the Windows 8 tablet users do that).

Gaming habits


Many participants didn’t consider themselves gamers (21%, that’s 10 girls and 5 guys) while most of the people (41%) spend less than an hour on gaming in a regular day. The most popular gaming platform was the PC (54 people) followed by Android (47 responders) and the various game consoles (13 participants). Here it was possible to select multiple answers.

Daily gaming hours
Gaming platforms








The next few questions about the preferred PC or console genres, favorite mobile titles and favorite mobile genres returned a huge amount of information, so I’m only going to share the most popular options. According to the participants, the three best mobile games are Cut the Rope, Plants vs. Zombies and Angry Birds. The most popular genres on PC are platformer, real-time strategy and simulator (the least popular games are the ones about sports and social games like FarmVille). Finally the most played game genres on mobile are logic puzzles, physics-based puzzles and strategy games (here I'd like to point out that there still aren't any good RTS games for Android, tower defense doesn't count). The numbers near the bars represent the results of an arbitrary scoring system, let's not get into it.

PC genres
Mobile titles
Mobile genres








32% of the responders have tried Steve and Celeste and only 21% have seen Nightfall Lands, that’s surprising because on Google Play the second title is seven times more popular than the first one.

The financial part


According to the three questions about advertisements in mobile games, 49 percent of people are not bothered by nicely placed ad banners while 27% finds them really annoying. 14 percent says there's nothing wrong with them and 10 percent uses some sort of ad-blocking app. Full screen ads are a little less popular, 68% finds them annoying. About the success of these methods: only 30% of the people said that that they have ever clicked on an ad intentionally.

Banners
Full screen ads
Clicks on ads








In-app purchases don't seem to be a good idea either. Besides the fact that only 15% of the people use them, a considerable 34% is annoyed even by the option to do so. The combined spending for three months (on both in-app purchases and paid apps) was under $5 for 32% of the participants while the majority (59%) didn't spend a dime on mobile games. Nevertheless, the ideal price-range for a good game was hard to establish: 38% would prefer a price between $1 and $3 while 30% votes for free apps with ingame ads. In the end it was good to see that 83% of the responders would spend $0.99 on a game they really like.


In-app purchases
Money for games
Price of a good game
Willing to pay $0.99







Here I'd like to point out that the vast majority of the participants where from Eastern Europe. A survey conducted in the Western countries would probably show different results.

Social media


This part focuses on the various marketing channels game publishers tend to utilize. Based on the sites' popularity a YouTube trailer (99 percent of the responders visit the site frequently) and a Facebook campaign (76%) seem to be the best ideas. The popularity of online leaderboards in games is not that great (only half of the people like them). Finally, almost half of the participants (41%) would share game-related news with their friends on social networks.

Website popularity
Online leaderboards
Game news








Conclusions


My main goals with this survey were to find out what kind of mobile games are currently popular, what genres are missing from the platform, what is the viability of Windows 8 apps and what would be an ideal publishing strategy or price point for these games.

Thanks again to everyone who completed the questionnaire, I think there are some very interesting and useful results, especially about the public attitude towards the apps' pricing and ingame advertisement.
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