Mobile Gaming Struggles For Growth
While gaming is considered one of the hottest past times around, it hasn’t quite been the boon to the mobile phone market that pundits thought it might be a few years ago. M:Metrics, a mobile market research firm, tracks consumer usage of mobile devices and in a recent study found that, “as the prices and selection of mobile games climb, consumption has remained consistent, with between five and six million mobile subscribers downloading at least one mobile game per month, over the past year.”
Despite the flat demand, it hasn’t been for the lack of carriers trying. M:Metrics reported that the number of mobile games offered has increased significantly, with carriers adding nearly 59 titles each, on average, since September 2005.
Perhaps part of the problem lay in pricing. The firm found that, as the number of titles went up, so did the prices—three percent for one-time downloads and five percent for subscriptions. The other reason could be the demographic. Not surprisingly, the report showed that the primary buyers of such games are males younger than 25—about 29.9 percent of the market. Such users may not have the disposable income to consistently purchase new games. Seamus McAteer, chief product architect and senior analyst, M:Metrics said in a statement that carriers have to rethink pricing. “As all carriers more aggressively promote subscription-based models, they are also testing price inelasticity by gradually inching up average pricing,” he said McAteer. “To grow the market, carriers must work in tandem with publishers to provide real value for a more expensive subscription, rather than treating it as just another pricing tactic.”