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Collision Course: Social Gaming + Smartphone Adoption = Social Mobile Gaming

March 5, 2012

Two worlds are indeed in the process of colliding.    Smartphone adoption continues to skyrocket, smart phone web traffic is growing, and gaming is going social.

The result: social games on your smartphone are here and the title wave of options is about to crest.

This hit home, literally, when I walked into my 17 yr-old’s room the other night to see what the commotion was. Upon opening the door and peering in the room, I found Michael and his 13 yr old brother lying on their bellies playing a social smartphone-based zombie shoot-em up game.  iPhones to cloud to iPhones.  This gaming session lasted hours and so did the noise.

Consider these stats:

1) US Smartphone handsets in use continues to grow.

As of February 2012, 46 percent of the 2,253 adults surveyed said they are now smartphone owners — growing 11 percent in the last nine months.   According to BI Intelligence, “In 2011, smartphone sales exceeded PC sales for the first time—and we believe there will be nearly twice as many smartphones as PCs sold next year.”

And credible projections suggest an increasing growth rate over the next several years as prices continue to fall…

And this is a test.

                 2) M2)

2) Moble Web Use is Skyrocketing.  

According to a a recent report mobile web traffic has risen as much as 35% since July 2011…

The numbers are actually significantly higher in certain age groups like young adults: among college graduates, 18-35 year olds and the well off, those who said they used a smart phone was at 60 percent and up.

3)  Gaming is going social.

Much is being written currently about companies like Zynga and Rovio as harbingers of all things social gaming to come.  For example, BI Intelligence published this last week…

Social gaming is one of the hottest internet trends, and we decided to figure out where the industry is headed. Zynga’s growth is plateauing: does this mean that the market is tapped out and that social gaming will remain a sideshow?

We disagree. We think social gaming is a disruptive industry and will break into the mainstream, regardless of what happens to the industry in general.

We forecast the US social gaming market will blow past $5 billion in the US by 2015.

While behind a paywall (but with free 30 day access!), BI offers some compelling rationale behind the hockey sticks you see above in this report.

Why are we forecasting such growth? In a nutshell:

  • We think social games will go more mainstream. Right now, social gaming is mostly confined to a specific demographic–women aged 35-55 with a lot of time on their hands–but this is already changing.  We believe new kinds of gamers, including males, especially young people and hardcore gamers, will start to use new types of social games.
  • We think monetization will improve dramatically. We are still in the early days of monetization. Micropayments are getting easier, and users are becoming more accustomed to paying for virtual goods. In advertising, the scope for improvement is even bigger: right now, most of the advertising revenue comes from bargain-rate banner ads. As forms of advertising like interstitial ads and branded virtual goods grow, so will revenue per user.

In short, lots more of users and more revenues per user will continue to drive more market growth.      -read more

We happen to agree with their analysis and see it as one of many foundational underpinnings for our New Market Entrepreneurial cause, Fandazz, which you will be hearing a lot more about.

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