A Deeper Dive into the American Mobile Gamer

Over the past year, consumers from all over have looked to mobile gaming to provide fun, entertainment, and a way to pass the time while stuck at home. However, the adoption of mobile gaming into an everyday routine has grown to become the norm for many consumers, and this habit will not be broken anytime soon. So who are mobile gamers and what are they into? Last year we discovered that American mobile gamers are everyone — they cannot be melted down to one demographic or characteristic. This year, the consumption habits and preferences of mobile gamers in the U.S. were explored in order to better understand what mobile gamers like, their regular activities, and how brands and advertisers can reach them.

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The Basics of the American Mobile Gamer

A year ago, we asked consumers in the United States if they played mobile games and looked into the demographics of mobile gamers. This research allowed us to break the gamer stereotype and learn more about the expansive audience brands can reach through mobile games. We discovered that 49% of U.S. consumers are committed gamers, meaning that they play mobile games once to several times a day. What’s more, it turns out that there is no one specific type of gamer. Mobile gamers are both male and female, live within all regions of the United States, and span all education, age, and income levels.

Gaming Preferences

Though mobile gamers span all characteristics and demographics in the U.S., they do have similar preferences when it comes to mobile gaming behaviors. When it comes to game genres, the most preferred mobile games are Puzzle, Word, and Strategy games.

Additionally, these consumers are excited to play mobile games during any down time, or as it turns out, even when they are engaging with other devices as 53% of mobile gamers play mobile games while watching TV. With over half of mobile gamers playing while they watch TV, it is important for brand advertisers to understand the power of advertising in mobile games. Moreover, brands should favor this channel as mobile gaming is a space where users are actively interacting with content instead of passively responding to media through communication tools like social media, emails, or texts. In addition to playing while watching TV, mobile gamers play on lunch breaks, in bed before sleep, while waiting for someone/something, and while traveling or commuting.

It is also interesting to note that mobile gamers are typically in a positive, receptive environment while playing mobile games as they often choose to play mobile games in order to pass the time, for fun, or to relax and unwind. With that in mind, brands looking to advertise in mobile games should be excited knowing that they have access to consumers who are looking to interact with quality content.

Consumption Preferences of Mobile Gamers

As mobile gamers are a reflection of the majority of people just like you and me, they go out, eat in, and enjoy having a good time. When it comes to food and entertainment, 57% of consumers eat fast food at least once a week, 52% eat out at a restaurant at least once every two weeks, and 33% visit the cinema at least once a month. Clearly, these consumers live active lifestyles and appreciate going out for fun.

Over half of mobile gamers 21 and older are already planning on eating out and drinking alcohol at least once a month, with a third of these gamers planning on partaking in these activities once a week, so there are many chances for brands to create conversions. Mobile gamers typically play several times a day, further increasing the ability for brands to connect with consumers.

Mobile gamers cannot be placed into one box — they are made up of people with varying demographics and characteristics, yet they all engage with games on their mobile devices frequently, look to mobile games for fun and entertainment, and are open to getting out of the house and treating themselves. Brands and advertisers should be ecstatic to learn more about mobile gamers and how to reach this vast audience; stay tuned to discover more about the life of a mobile gamer!

About the Study

The survey was developed by AdColony and GWI and distributed online to mobile gamers. All figures in the study (unless noted otherwise) are drawn from GWI’s online research among U.S. internet users who are mobile gamers aged 16-64 via an online questionnaire. GWI only interviews respondents aged 16-64, and their figures are representative of the online populations of each market, not its total population. The survey garnered a total of 1,044 respondents in the U.S. over an eight-day period in Q2 2021.

About GWI

GWI is a target audience company that provides consumer insight across 47 countries to the world’s leading brands, communication agencies, and media organizations. The company runs a global survey representing more than 2 billion connected consumers, which offers up to over 40,000 data points on the behaviors and perceptions of internet users around the world. Using the subscription-based platform, clients including Twitter, Google, Spotify, WPP, IPG, and Omnicom Group can gather in-depth insights into audience behaviors, attitudes, and interests through a combination of survey data and analytics.