Growth in the segment could offset contraction in the overall market, says Comscore
The US mobile games market contracted by 13 per cent in terms of subscribers in the 12 months ending February 2010 to sit at 50.9 million.
A new report from Comscore says the overall decline was driven by a 35 per cent fall in mobile gaming among feature phone subscribers (now at 29.5 million), who in 2009 represented approximately 80 per cent of the market.
The good news, however, is that there was a significant 60 per cent increase in the number of people playing games on smartphones over the 12 month period (now at 21.4 million).
What's more, smartphone subscribers (47.1 per cent) are three times more likely than feature phone subscribers (15.7 per cent) to play games on their device at least once a month. And they are more than five times as likely to play games almost every day.
Mark Donovan, comScore SVP Mobile and senior analyst, said: "Although the number of mobile gamers has declined in the past year, there is reason for significant optimism about the future of this market.
"As the market transitions from feature phones to smartphones, the dynamics of gameplay are also shifting towards a higher quality experience. As a result, we can expect to see a profound increase in adoption of this activity, both in terms of audience size and overall engagement."