The number one reason consumers are playing mobile games

Gaming, and mobile gaming particularly, is continuing to bulldoze the entertainment industry – in a good way. In fact, 2.7 billion gamers worldwide are spending on average 6.5 hours a week on their mobile devices – thus – creating one of the most diverse audiences. All driven by finding entertaining ways to spend their time.

Source: eMarketer


Mobile gaming has made the stereotypical “gamer” profile old news. The pools of people called “gamers” today is so diverse, largely thanks to mobile. According to eMarketer, the numbers show that it’s almost split down the middle between men (45%) and women (55%) gamers. Understanding who you’re making games for, and why users play games lends a hand in shaping your gaming experience and strategy. For brands, knowing their audience intimately and understanding their motives can help align campaigns with player interests. 


What makes people play?


Today, different age groups interact with their mobile devices differently – ranging from baby boomers to Gen Z. When it comes to mobile games, the same difference applies. According to Newzoo’s report on how different generations engage with games – games fulfill a wide range of needs for every generation. The reasons people turn to games can range from ‘unwinding’, ‘achievement’, ‘competition’, ‘social’, ‘action’, ‘immersion’, and ‘creativity’. Research shows that while young players generally turn to games to socialize, compete, and create, older generations of gamers play games to unwind and relax – but it seems like they are not the only ones. 


Everyone wants a ticket to unwind and relax


Aside from younger generations playing games for interaction, unwinding and relaxing are the top reasons for playing across generations. The rest of the motivations listed above decrease as gamers age. We see that fewer baby boomers and Gen X gamers are looking for the more creative outlets presented in the chart. The older the generation gets, the more interested they become in mobile games that don’t require too much effort or deep stories. To unwind, hyper-casual or casual games like Match-3 or puzzles will usually do the trick.


Another interesting demographic difference between ages relates to single-player mode versus multiplayer mode. Newzoo’s generations report also covers preferred game modes. The reports shares that older players are driven by casual reasons and prefer to play in an environment that is less intense or competitive. On the flip side, younger generations, more specifically – 57% of Gen Z and 54% of Millenials – are more likely to play multiplayer titles than the 34% of Gen X and 14% of Baby Boomers players. Because younger generations are seeking the social components and intrinsic connections with other like-minded players, multiplayer titles tend to be more popular in these age groups. As mobile gaming continues its ascent, the possibilities for brands and publishers to reach different audiences expand. 


Brands, are you game?


As individuals adopt new usage patterns, it’s important for mobile marketers and publishers to understand where their target audiences are spending time and the experiences that resonate most. For brands, gamer demographics and motivations pull the curtain back on how to enter the space. Armed with that info, you can find the right ad formats and creative messages to reach them. In-app advertising has many advantages for brand marketers, especially in an environment where rewarded videos are welcomed by gamers. The clear value exchange of ad formats can appeal to any of the demographics looking to ‘play, win, and progress’ in their game while they spend their time playing their go-to games. 


Consumers are spending more inside mobiles games


SensorTower has good news for publishers! They recently reported that global consumer spending in mobile games reached $44.7 billion in H1 2021, up from 17.9% YoY. By targeting mobile gamers through thoughtful advertising, you’re not only reaching the diverse audience, but you’re also reaching consumers who aren’t afraid to spend hard currency in their favorite games. 


With a seat for every type of gamer – are you up to date with your audience?


The diversity of gamers has also resulted in the diversity of apps available. Understanding your players will reveal the monetization opportunities you can grab and where potential gaps lie. At Fyber we can help you figure it out, reach out to us to lock down your winning monetization strategy.


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