What Drives Players To Mobile Games?

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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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What Drives Players To Mobile Games?

A recent study from EEDAR, which appeared on Gamasutra just a short while ago, provided a rundown on how gamers find new games to play when it comes to the mobile gaming market. The mobile gaming market is a far, far different animal from its contemporaries, and nowhere is that more obvious in determining just how mobile games should be marketed.

As it turns out, the biggest driver when it comes to mobile games is word of mouth. Word of mouth drives almost half of mobile gamers' purchases, which beats out advertising, rankings pages, and several other measures by a wide margin.

But this is the part that's particularly interesting: word of mouth only drives about 25 percent of purchases when it comes to HD gaming of some brand. This in turn means that, on average, word of mouth is roughly twice as powerful for the mobile gaming market, and has likely already driven smart developers to their social networks to try and drum up a few good whispering campaigns to get word of mouth going.

But still, this poses difficult questions for marketers.While word of mouth advertising may be one of the cheapest forms there is--in some cases it's free--the question of how to reliably invoke it is something of an issue here. How to get people to actually talk to their friends about games? Well, the obvious, immediate answer is to do something to get them excited about the game itself. That's not always easy, or something that works with just everyone, but Facebook contests and the like may help. Getting people thinking about a game while they're in the midst of their social networking program of choice, and offering contests--free copies to those who like the game or its maker on Facebook--isn't a terrible idea. The key, though, will be one of quality. Nothing gets people talking about games like a game they particularly enjoy, so focusing more on the content and less on the marketing may pay off more substantially than expected.

The exact marketing mix of any product is a hard one to fully figure, and often requires a lot of revisiting and reexamination to ensure that the best tactics for the job are being used. But with mobile gaming, it may just be as simple as getting people to talk about it. It may be simple...but it might not be that easy.
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