Nokia Profiles Mobile Gaming Habits

Nokia conducted 1800 face to face interviews in six countries – 300 each in China, Germany, India, Spain, Thailand and the United States – between April and June 2006. Of the total number, 67% were male, 33% female and the average age was between 26 and 27 years old. I think 300 for India is too small a number, and thus the findings should not be taken as anything but being indicative of trends.

Amongst the Indian respondents:
– 61% play games every day; 35% play at least once a week, but not every day
– 87% game at home, only 26% game at work, 62% game when travelling while 41% game while waiting
– 89% purchase game for its good gameplay, 81% because it looked like a game with lots of replayability, 93% because of the graphics, 82% because of the genre it belonged to and 86% because they were offered a free trial.
– 23% play multiplayer games on their mobile every day, while 33% play once at least once a week, but not every day
– 89% are interested in sharing game demos with their friends directly,
– 69% feel that personal recommendation is key to trying a demo received from a friend
– For downloading games: 48% used over-the-air distribution, 31% used over the Internet, while 9% used CDs.

One of the things I’ve wondering about is whether a “try before you buy” situation can actually work in India, given the sheer lack of innovation in the games; “mobstir” had rightly commented earlier that most games available in India are reskinned versions of existing games. Thus, users should prefer to try before they buy. The stats seem to tell a different story, though: 49% would rather pay for the full game, rather than subscription (30%). Interestingly, 15% wouldn’t mind paying level by level for games. But if trials were allowed, how many games would people like to try out? 29% would like 1 game trial per week, 41% would like 2 to 3 per week, 16% would like 4 to 5 per week. I still think that “try before you buy” could be disastrous for the mobile gaming industry in India, at least in the short term.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the sample of 300 respondents included in equal measure mobile phone owners exhibiting high social mobile gaming activity, low to medium social mobile gaming activity and those not playing mobile games but do not reject the idea.
[source: this release and this overview (pdf)]