According to a new poll published today, close to half of all smartphone owners in Europe use their devices to play games and this number has seen a 55% rise from last year.
The survey from comScore, which interviewed smartphone owners from the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, reveals that 42% of those polled were engaged in playing games at least once in February, while almost 12% say they played games every day.
The overall percentage is above average in the UK, where more than half of smartphone owners, or about 14.2m, used their devices for gaming and 16.4% played daily. In comparison, in France, where gaming was found to be the least popular, just over 27% played games in February and 7.4% did so almost every day.
According to Hesham Al-Jehani, comScore Europe product manager for mobile, the surge in mobile gaming is mostly due to the presence of downloadable apps, which allow consumers to play games when there is no mobile web available. During such periods users can play games offline to pass the time, he says.
In addition, comScore’s report predicts growth for social media games, which were the most popular in Italy in February 2012 with a 15.5% penetration rate, while the UK comes second, with a rate of 14.2%. Overall, more than six million users across the five markets engaged in social media gaming in February, up 42% on a previous survey from six months ago.