ARCHIVES: This is legacy content from before Marketing Dive acquired Mobile Marketer in early 2017. Some information, such as publication dates, may not have migrated over. Check out the new Marketing Dive site for the latest marketing news.

Smartphones are most popular gaming device across 12 markets: Facebook

Pokemon Go is an instant blockbuster, underscoring the power of mobile games for connecting with consumers, a fact reinforced by new Facebook research showing that smartphones are the most popular gaming device, beating desktop, tablets and consoles. 

Mobile games do a great job of engaging women, parents and commuters, pointing to the wide appeal of these platforms, according to Facebook?s research. Mobile games are also becoming significant revenue-generating opportunities. 

?Mobile gaming has taken the world by storm, appealing to a wider audience than traditional gaming alone,? according to the report. 

?Gamers worldwide will generate a total of US$99.6 billion in revenues in 2016. For the first time, mobile gaming will take a larger share than PC with US$36.9 billion."

Facebook commissioned a survey of consumers 18 years and older across 12 countries in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia to determine how they are interacting with mobile games. 

Mobile gaming?s wide reach
The survey found that, on average, 71 percent of gamers use a smartphone, 64 percent a computer, 34 percent a tablet and 26 percent a console. 

With these findings in mind, marketers should consider where and how consumers are playing games on mobile and how relevant messaging can reach them at various moments throughout the day. Keep in mind that mobile games play more frequently and in shorter bursts. 

One key takeaway is that mobile gamers are everywhere, with 45 percent of mobile gamers playing while waiting, 44 percent while commuting or traveling and 21 percent playing at work. 

The survey also found that gamers in developing markets are 1.8 times more likely to use a smartphone as their primary gaming device compared to gamers in developed markets. Developing market gamers also spend 16 minutes more per session. 

A changing face
?Another key finding is that the face of gaming is changing, with women taking an equal role on smartphones. On average, 47 percent of smartphone players are women and 53 percent are men. 

The survey found that women prefer puzzle games, followed by strategy, casual/social, action and card games. Men are partial to strategy games, followed by action, sports, puzzle and role-playing games. 

The surge in mobile games is also attracting parents, with 43 percent of mobile gamers also parents. Among mobile gaming spending parents, game play peaks in the early evening. 

The survey also uncovered some key differences between mobile gamers who spend money on games and those who do not. Spenders are 2.7 times more likely to stay in-game for a sense of community and belonging compared to mobile non-spenders. These gamers are also 2.9 times more likely to pay for mobile games so they can beat their friends. 

The findings point to the important role that social media plays in discovering mobile games, with 68 percent of mobile game spenders discovering games on social networks. 

New family tradition?
Among mobile game spending parents, 83 percent purchase mobile game apps for their children.
Facebook also highlighted a recent campaign for the Star Trek Timelines free-to-play mobile game on its Facebook for Business blog. 

Game developer Disruptor Beam and marketing agency GameChangerSF ran the campaign across Facebook and Instagram, using boosted posts and mobile app install ads to launch the game at the beginning of the year. Between Jan. and March 2016, the game saw 1.3 million downloads with a 1.2 times return on ad spend in the first 60 days. Half of all paid installs were attributable to Facebook. 

?A new family tradition is emerging as parents and kids bond over gameplay,? the report said. ?Keep in mind that across mobile gaming markets there is a high proportion of gaming parents seeking educational and family-oriented games that can be played across generations."