Thursday, February 16, 2006

Parks Associates: North America and Europe Playing “Catch-up” in Mobile Gaming

Parks Associates has issued a new report that finds "consumers in Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries lead European and North American consumers more than two to one in the adoption of both single-player and multiplayer mobile gaming."

According to the report, of the consumers in the APAC countries surveyed, "28% of consumers play single-player mobile games on at least a weekly basis, versus 13% in Europe and 8% in North America. Further, 7% of Asia-Pacific consumers play multiplayer mobile games on a weekly basis, versus 2% in both Europe and North America.

Yuanzhe (Michael) Cai at Parks Associates said, "Cellular operators in North America and Europe are lagging behind their Asia-Pacific counterparts in mobile gaming, but they are starting to increase their focus on this area. Large game publishers such as EA are also reevaluating market opportunities and investing heavily in the space, so with wider deployments of 3G mobile networks and the continued development of feature-rich handsets with gamer-friendly designs, these regions should be able to reduce the international gaming gap.”

The reprot suggests that "the mobile gaming market could also benefit from innovations such as cross-platform designs that position a mobile phone as an extension platform to online PC and console games. Other innovations the report mentions include the integration of location-based services (LBS), social networking, and multiplayer mobile gaming."

Cai added, "Leveraging unique characteristics such as always-on connectivity and always-with-you ubiquity is extremely important to the success of mobile gaming. Focusing on brands and franchise licenses alone is not a sustainable model."