Survey says: Competitive mobile gamers are from Mars, F2P addicts are from Venus

There might be an industry perception that mobile gaming is a male-dominated field, but the audience is increasingly female, with 87 percent of women opting for free-to-play (F2P) gaming versus 77 percent of men. The data comes from an online survey by Harris Poll for Amazon/Weber Shandwick that was conducted in late February among more than 2,000 U.S. adults, including 880 who play mobile games on their smartphone or tablet.

  • Only 27 percent of women are willing to pay for a mobile game versus 40 percent of men. 
  • Women are less likely to complain about bugs/glitches in a mobile game at 52 percent versus 69 percent of men who would complain.
  • Only 43 percent of women said they would likely share their top score in a mobile game via social networks, compared with 53 percent of men.
  • Female mobile gamers are more likely to say they would not purchase any game at all compared with male mobile gamers (i.e., only play free games) (40 percent to 27 percent, respectively).
  • Female gamers are more likely to most often play mobile games at home in their spare time than male gamers (70 percent to 62 percent, respectively).

​"It appears that women who play mobile games may not exhibit the same competitive nature as men. The traditionally-held competitive attitudes of male gamers appear to ring true in the mobile gaming landscape, and our survey data provides several scenarios that showcase these behaviors," the report said. "In one example (say, a friend or family member routinely beats you and gets higher scores in a mobile game that you play often), men who play mobile games are more likely to feel competitive than respective women."

Though accurate numbers are difficult to come by, most app and mobile game developers are probably men, but the Amazon study suggests it's women who will drive a lot of the user trends. Beyond the basic data, some of the developer recommendations in this report are valuable. For example, Amazon suggests that women might be more motivated by achievements than number scores, which could mean a redesign of some mobile game leaderboards is in order.

It also confirms that F2P is here to stay. Although women outdistance men in their preferences here by a significant percentage, it's quickly becoming the default mode of acquisition across genders.

For more:
- to download the Amazon App Store Study, click here

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