According to a study by research firm Parks Associates, Asia-Pacific countries are ahead of European and North American countries by over two to one in the adoption of mobile phone games. Factors cited as a reason for the lag are the lack of support for 3D multiplayer gaming on mobile handsets, as well as weak PC-to-mobile compatible titles.
"Leveraging unique characteristics such as always-on connectivity and always-with-you ubiquity is extremely important to the success of mobile gaming," said Parks Associates director of broadband gaming Yuanzhe Cai. "Focusing on brands and franchise licenses alone is not a sustainable model."
In the Asia-Pacific countries examined in the report, 28% of consumers played single-player mobile games at least once a week, compared to 13% in Europe and 8% in North America. The incidence of multiplayer mobile games was smaller all around, but Asia-Pacific countries still saw 7% usage compared to 2% in other territories.
"Cellular operators in North America and Europe are lagging behind their Asia-Pacific counterparts in mobile gaming, but they are starting to increase their focus on this area," said Cai. "Large game publishers such as EA are also reevaluating market opportunities and investing heavily in the space, so with wider deployments of 3G mobile networks and the continued development of feature-rich handsets with gamer-friendly designs, these regions should be able to reduce the international gaming gap."