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Report - UK and US mobile gaming market now 125 million strong

A mobile gaming survey commissioned by PopCap has found a growing pool of consumers hungry for mobile gaming.

PopCap's survey, the third of its kind, found a market of more than 125 million people playing mobile games in the UK and US. Over 44% of all respondants had played games in the last month, up 29% from 2010.

More new gamers are joinging the fold, too, as 40% of these self-confessed gamers had only recently picked up the hobby, a serious jump on the 22% in 2009.

Of these new players, 9% got on board after buying a tablet, which is estimated to have brought about 11 million mobile users to gaming in the last year. The study claims 36% of mobile gamers now own a tablet as well. 12% of all mobile gamers play only on a tablet and people who play on both devices spend more game time on a tablet than a phone.

Those who responded to the survey said they spent about 46% of all gaming time on mobiles. Of these, 33% were phones, 32 were laptops or notebooks, and 18% were dedicated handhelds like the Vita, or 3DS.

Daily gaming has risen by 29% to 45% of all respondents, and 22% reported playing more than three hours per week.

The survey noted that free to play games are growing in the mobile sector; 70% of respondents said they'd upped their gaming time due to the increased availability of free games. 51% of mobile gamers made mobile game-related purchases in the past year; 62% of these purchases were the cover price for games, but 40% of all purchases were additional content or in-game currency.

The international survey was run by Information Solutions Group, and consulted 2,301 mobile phone owners over the age of 18 from the UK and US. Of these, 1,004 identified as mobile gamers; 712 had smartphones; and 361 also had tablets.

PopCap has released the full results, downloadable as a PDF file here. The casual publisher sources more than one-third of its income from mobile games.

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