Press Release: BuzzCity report shows mobile gaming is mainstream

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BuzzCity report shows mobile gaming is mainstream – 90% of mobile users download and play games on their mobiles

South Africa – 29 July 2010: Marketers and games developers in South Africa now have a very clear idea of the average mobile games player, thanks to data just released by Singapore-based mobile media company BuzzCity.

The results of the sixth BuzzCity multi-market survey investigating consumer mobile behaviour focuses on the global usage of mobile games and applications. The BuzzCity study into mobile gaming trends indentifies gaming patterns on mobile and how marketers and developers can take advantage of its popularity. KF Lai, CEO of BuzzCity, said, “Mobile gaming has gone mainstream and there’s a clear need to address specific demographics.”

The international survey questioned mobile users across 10 countries representing various different geographic regions: the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Middle East on their use of the mobile as a games device. The results showed that mobile gaming has evolved significantly beyond traditional ideas of casual games to those with sophisticated plotlines.

In South Africa, 25-30 year/olds form the single largest (25%) age group followed by the 20-25 year olds who make up 21%. Teenagers (15-20 year olds) represent 12% of respondents and are outnumbered by the 30-somethings (23%). There is a fairly even spread of the more mature mobile surfer in South Africa

·         40 – 45  years old – 8%
·         45 – 50 years old – 6%
·         50 – 55 years old – 5%

There is a nearly even spread of (47%) males and (53%) females among those who were surveyed, although there are disproportionately few females under 20 years of age. Among the respondents, 6% of the females are executives or managers (compared to 4% of males) while 27% are admin / retail assistants (compared to 9% males). Only 8% of females are self-employed (vs 18% of males) while 23% of females do not have a job (compared to 13% of males)

Service personnel (including admin / sales assistants) make up 29% of respondents and the self employed (freelancers & business owners) 13%. Executives & Managers make up another 5% of respondents.   Students make up some 18% of those surveyed.

Eight percent claim never (and do not intend) to have downloaded games while 17% do not (download) because they can’t find what they want. Some 6% download once a fortnight, 36% download once a week and 34% download “not so often”.

South Africans play mobile games frequently: 44% play almost daily and 32% play whenever they get the chance. Some 8% play a few times a week, another 8% play a few times a month and 9% play only rarely.

Downloads probably occur as users surf with their phones. In South Africa, surfing picks up quickly in the early morning (15%) and evens out at about 8% during the daylight hours. Surfing activity peaks again in the early (30%) and late (30%) evening.

Mobile users in South Africa play at every chance they get and at no particular time (49%). Some 16% play while waiting (train, bus etc) or before going to sleep (20%). Gaming activity is primarily recreational “to pass the time” among 45% while among 30%, gaming is a means of learning something new. Some 17% play to get the most out of their phones.

The preferred categories of games in South Africa are:
·        Brain/ Board/ Puzzle Games – 22%
·        Cards/ Casino/ Gambling Games  – 17%
·        Action/ Adventure/ Fantasy Games – 14%
·        Dating/ Lifestyle Games/ Social/ Messaging Apps – 14%

KF Lai continued: “Increasing mobile game traffic suggests a viable opportunity for ad-supported games and advergames, particularly where branding is a key campaign objective. As users get more involved with the sophisticated plotlines of games, the level of consumer engagement increases, creating more branding opportunities for marketers.”

Feature phones remained the most popular device for game play activity with Nokia, Samsung and Sony-Ericcsson handsets leading the way. The Mobile Gaming Survey is one of the many studies conducted by BuzzCity to assist advertisers and partners with their mobile initiatives. To view the full report, please visit the BuzzCity website at

– ENDS –

Last Updated: August 4, 2010

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