Mobile games discovery – survey findings

How do mobile games get discovered by players?

How do mobile games get discovered by players?

In late 2013, we conducted a survey with random delegates at the Eurogamer event at Earl’s Court in London. The purpose was to acquire some initial insight into how users commonly find new mobile games as well as to explore some of the issues around discovery that are specific to mobile games.

Headline findings:

  • The app stores are currently a key channel to discovering mobile games
  • Friends’/social influence (e.g. personal recommendations and ‘word of mouth’) is a very significant influence when deciding what games to play
  • Users frequently feel disappointed by games they have installed and a significant number of players feel that they have wasted time and/or money on games they downloaded.

More information below.

The audience were mainly 15-25 year-olds and, as this was at a consumer games event, naturally skew towards being ‘self-declared’ gamers rather than a more general mobile user demographic. The group was relatively small (<50 responses to most questions) but nonetheless, I feel this yielded some interesting and relevant insight.

Audience stats

  • 62% male / 38% female
  • 50% played mobile games ‘occasionally’ and 43% ‘frequently’. Only 7% were ‘heavy’ players.
  • 73% were in the 18-25 age range
  • Device ownership/use was very broad; almost all respondents owned a PC, games console and a smartphone and 68% also had access to a tablet. No surprises here!
  • The range of games genres played by those questioned was very broad, spanning 13 different genres. Of these ‘Puzzle’ (23% played), ‘Runner’ (13%), ‘Sim’ (13%), ‘Strategy’ (10%) and ‘Platformer’ (10%) were the most commonly played genres of mobile game.

Here is a summary of those initial findings around discovery:

[1] When asked about the top three discovery channels they used, we found that those questioned answered:

  • 31% – App store charts (free apps)
  • 23% – Word of mouth (friend)
  • 11% – App store charts (overall games)
  • 11% – App store charts (top paid)
  • 9% – Review on web site
  • 3% – (each) for incentivised ads, in-game ads, Facebook ads, Facebook newsfeed, printed review and ‘Top 10’ list (e.g. a curated suggestion list).

[2] When asked how influential a friend’s suggestion/endorsement was, we found:

  • 38% said ‘Highly’
  • 38% said ‘Quite a lot’
  • 19% said ‘Not very’
  • 6% said ‘Not at all’

[3] 63% were either ‘very often’ or ‘quite often’ disappointed by games they had installed on their mobile devices. 38% replied ‘not often’ and none answered ‘Never’.

[4] 19% replied that they had paid for games that the subsequently regarded as a waste of money. We would highlight that 50% had never paid for a mobile game (either as a premium purchase or via IAPs), hence of those that had paid money in/for a game, 38% felt they had wasted money at least once.

[5] 67% felt that they had wasted time going through the process of downloading, installing and then trying mobile games that they then decided they didn’t like.

I am involved in a stealth start-up that is in the process of developing a mobile games discovery platform that focuses on the needs of consumers. If you would like to know when our first service launches sign up at and follow us on Twitter at @every1playing.

For a chance to win a $50 Google Play gift card please take 2minutes to answer a few questions around discovery on our latest survey at – the results will be shared on this site and via social media in due course.


About Kevin Corti

Programme Director / Entrepreneur in Residence The GameChanger Accelerator (VC-backed games industry accelerator) / @GameChangerEu Co-Founder/Product Lead EveryonesPlaying (mobile game search & recommendation platform) / @every1playing Owner Evil27Games (games industry consulting) / @evil27games @kevcorti

Posted on February 11, 2014, in Discovery, Market research, Mobile games and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Mobile games discovery – survey findings.

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