Survey finds tablets boost playtime and spending habits among mobile gamers

Tablets have proven to be a boon for mobile gaming according to the latest survey from EA PopCap and Information Solutions Group, which shows tablet ownership increases the amount of mobile games played, the amount of time spent playing, and the amount of money spent on them.

The survey found 49.7 percent of U.S. respondents had played a mobile game at least once and 38 percent had played a mobile game in the last month. Out of those who did play mobile games, the number of those reporting they played mobile games daily increased 28 percent year-over-year, rising from 35 percent in 2011 to 45 percent in 2012. When polling players who had both a phone and a tablet, that figure increased to 57 percent.

The survey also found that tablets are becoming more popular than phones for gaming — 58 percent of respondents who owned both a phone and a tablet said they spent more time gaming on their tablets than their phones, and 40 percent reported playing fewer games on their phones. For users that only played mobile games on their tablets, more than a quarter of them had previously used their phones to do so.

The amount of time spent playing mobile games also increased year-over-year, with 22 percent of mobile gamers reporting they spent three a more hours a week playing games on their devices, up from 14 percent in 2011. Once again, gamers who owned both a tablet and a phone spent more time on a weekly basis playing games.

Tablet ownership proved to be a popular entry point into mobile gaming, with the study estimating that devices like the Kindle Fire and the iPad have brought 11 million new players into the mobile ecosystem in the last 12 months.

Finally, although the average amount of money spent on mobile gaming actually dropped year-over-year, falling from $29.21 in 2010 to $21.24 in 2011, the amount of money spent by tablet players increased from $20.37 in 2010 to $25.47 in 2011. Overall gamers who played on both phones and tablets were the most lucrative, reporting they had spent an average of $34.57 on mobile games within the last two years.