According to comScore’s newly overview of mobile gaming across the five leading European markets – France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – the number of smartphone users in these countries playing games (at least once per month) increased 55% since last year.
This means that over 46 million EU5 smartphone users are gaming, or 42% of the potential audience.
The UK leads the pack, with more than half – 52% – of the smartphone audience gaming (14.2 million). British smartphone users also ranked first in terms of gaming penetration across daily and weekly gaming usage.
Social gaming is also up in EU5 markets, with a 42% increase in the last six months leading to 6 million EU5 smartphone gamers using social games via mobile (13% of smartphone gamers overall), as of February 2012. The Italian smartphone gaming audience ranked first in terms of penetration at 15.5%, while Spanish smartphone users were most likely to play games with other people (11%).
“The rise in mobile gaming is being propelled by the rapid adoption of smartphones and the vast ecosystems of game apps they provide,” says Hesham Al-Jehani, comScore Europe product manager for Mobile.
The table below shows comScore’s February 2012 mobile benchmark data, including a review of mobile consumption behaviour and device penetration for the five European countries under measurement. These benchmarks are published by comScore to provide the most up-to-date snapshot of the mobile industry.
As mobile games evolve from simple pre-loaded games to highly challenging and visually appealing games, their entertainment value has increased substantially. But another important – and perhaps less often reported – driver of mobile gaming is that many can be played without accessing the internet on people’s phones. This means that gaming is an easy way to fill idle time on the underground or in other locations where internet access is spotty.