Monday, November 28, 2005

M:Metrics: 90 Percent of Mobile Gamers Hear About Games from Their Carrier; JAMDAT Receives the Heaviest on-Deck Promotion

M:Metrics has released new findings that "the vast majority of mobile game consumers rely on their carriers to inform their mobile game purchases, a trend that has remained steady over the past six months."

Seamus McAteer at M:Metrics said, "This data shows that companies who are marketing their games outside of the on-device channel face a formidable challenge. Visibility on the device deck is essential. In addition to looking to premium SMS as a means to merchandise game content on the Web, in print or on TV, mobile games publishers should focus on alternative mechanisms that deliver exposure on the deck, via a link to an independent portal that's integrated with the carrier's billing infrastructure, or through their own branded retail outlet."

M;Metrics found that JAMDAT was most heavily promoted "on carrier merchandising menus of the top tier national carriers, owning 14 percent of all game titles that received premium deck placement across the top-tier, branded carriers in the United States in the month of October." The survey also noted that the gap between male anf females was closing. "Males continue to out-download females, accounting for 58 percent of those who downloaded a game in October. In January, the split was 66 percent male, 34 percent female."

US Mobile Subscriber Monthly Consumption of Content and Applications
M:Metrics Benchmark Survey: October 2005
Activity Projected Monthly
Reach (000s)
Percent US
Mobile Subscribers
Used Text Messaging 57,989 32.0%
Retrieved News and Information Via Browser 17,140 9.5%
Used Photo Messaging 15,504 8.6%
Purchased Ringtone 15,669 8.7%
Used Personal E-mail 12,143 6.7%
Used Mobile Instant Messenger 10,310 5.7%
Used Work E-mail 6,614 3.7%
Purchased Wallpaper or Screensaver 6,410 3.5%
Downloaded Mobile Game 5,331 3.0%
Source: M:Metrics, Inc., Copyright 2005. Survey of U.S. mobile subscribers. Data based on the month ending October 31, 2005, n= 11,846 U.S. mobile subscribers.

The game publishers and game titles receiving the most premium deck placement in the month of October were:

Top Game Publishers % Appearances Most Promoted Title % Appearances
1. JAMDAT 14.4 % 1. World Poker Tour - Texas Hold 'Em 2.2 %
2. MForma 10.8 % 2. NCAA Football 1st and 10 1.7 %
3. THQ 9.0 % 3. Bejeweled 2.0 %
4. I-Play 9.1% 4. Jewel Quest 1.9 %
5. Gameloft 9.0 % 5. MLB Baseball 2005 by JAMDAT 1.4 %
This data outlines one of the key problems for game developers trying to promote their wares to potential mobile phone gamers. Unless you have the cash and bulk of a JAMDAT, your title will be buried in the deck. Given the costs to develop and then port games to the myriad platforms and handsets, mobile game publishers will need to get creative promoting their games if they want to see a return on their efforts....