When it comes to mobile games, we tend to assume that people are playing them in places where they’re forced to wait with nothing else to do … on buses, planes, and trains, in bank lines, or while waiting for an appointment. And while the newest Angry Birds game is certainly more captivating than the year-old magazines in a dentist’s waiting room, the fact of the matter is that most of us (in the U.S., at least) drive to work, we do most of our banking online, and the total amount of time spent in doctor’s offices can’t possibly account for the rampant success of the mobile gaming industry.
So where are we really playing our mobile games? At home and in bed, according to a study produced by the mobile entertainment company MocoSpace. While the study does in fact show that 82% of us are playing while waiting for a doctor’s appointment and that 73% of us play during out daily commute, most of us don’t actually spend a lot of time doing either of those things. How much time have you spent waiting in doctors’ offices over the last six months? One hour? Two? The same study shows that more than half of us play mobile games for at least one hour per day, while 32% somehow find the time to spend up to three hours per day gaming.
This information is essential to entrepreneurs who are considering developing games for the iPad. The kinds of games people play while waiting to board a flight are decidedly different than those being played at home. If you’re just passing the time, then you’re probably playing a relatively simple, repetitive, two-dimensional game (Tetris, Angry Birds, BrickBreaker, for example) that you can close at any time and not care about whether or not your progress is saved. As the MocoSpace study shows, however, people are dedicating time specifically to gaming, and they’re certainly going to expect more bang for their buck. Next week we’ll take a look at what you’ll need to consider when developing games for this newer kind of consumer.