According to a report by IGN Entertainment, owners of consumer game sites IGN.com and GameSpy.com, the mobile phone industry is currently being driven by mobile gamers, who form an early adopter bloc that helps move new advances in handset technology.
The report surveys mobile gamers, who say that they spend 25% more on mobile hardware and 75% more than regular cellular customers on mobile phone games. They're also more likely to let mobile games or exclusive downloadable content be a deciding factor in switching service providers, and tend to replace their phone handsets as often as twice a year when new technology hits the market.
According to the report, the biggest challenge toward exploiting the large install base of mobile phone users (casual owners, as opposed to the early adopters discussed elsewhere in the report) is to ensure that any given game works with a majority of the diverse service plans and handsets on the market.
Customers said that they prefer to purchase games on an individual basis rather than pay for a subscription that allows multiple downloads, and that they would rather buy games directly via the phone than have to navigate a PC-to-phone interface for transferring games bought via computer.