Scoreloop, a social gaming platform on the iPhone, Android and other mobile operating systems, has been working to figure out the motivations of mobile gamers. Today they’re releasing the first of a three-part study, based on surveys and one-to-one interviews with their target audience.
The first interesting result: a large number of mobile gamers are actually play while they’re simultaneously on Facebook, interacting with friends. Out of Scoreloop’s total pool of respondents, some 66 percent said they multi-task while playing mobile games; most of those people report social networking activities while they game:
“We see here that people don’t fully focus on the game,” says Scoreloop CEO Marc Gumpinger. However, mobile developers shouldn’t get the idea that players want chat or other heavy social features in their game; the interviewees expressed a preference for keeping those features on their computers. “Chat doesn’t make sense at all in the games,” says Gumpinger.
What the study does suggest is that mobile gamers do want to enjoy games as an auxiliary to their social life. That could mean an implementation similar to Facebook, in which games serve as an add-on to the network rather than an extension of it; players typically enjoy asynchronous interactions that aren’t necessarily content-heavy.
“The pure motivations of being in touch, having more fun, teamwork and so forth are completely independent of platform,” says Gumpinger. “They’re present on Facebook, and on mobile.”
Scoreloop also asked its respondents to rate how much they would be interested in more social interaction within mobile games, on a scale of one to five:
“Fun”, of course, was by far the favorite answer. What’s stands out in the above numbers is that players were least interested in bragging — but leaderboards, the ultimate bragging tool, are still the only social element in a great many mobile games.
It’s in Scoreloop’s interest, of course, to convince mobile developers to work with it on more advanced social features. In June, it announced that its move onto platforms beyond the smartphones; and we also ran a much longer Q&A with Gumpinger last year.