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Affluent, smart, and female – meet the new gamer!

It’s no wonder investors are falling over themselves to throw money at mobile game developers and social gaming companies. According to research from mobile advertising and analytics firm Flurry, mobile social gamers represent a new mass-market powerhouse; a huge and sought-after demographic that includes some of the most powerful spenders in the economy.

Long gone are the days when video gaming was epitomized by pasty-faced teenage boys, hunched over their Xboxes in their mothers’ basements. Now, mobile gaming leads the way, driven by millions of popular smartphones. Here’s what Flurry had to say about this new generation of gamers:

The video game industry is transitioning from an era of hardcore male gamers who have dominated the landscape, to more mass-market usage across mobile social games. The Mobile Social Gamer segment is highly engaged, younger, made up of more females, more educated and more affluent.

Just how big is the audience in this new era of smartphone mobile gaming?  Consider that Flurry has detected over 250 million unique Apple iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices in the market, and is detecting more than 750,000 new devices daily. This is larger than the combined worldwide installed base of the Nintendo Wii, the Xbox 360, and Sony’s PlayStation 3.

North America (64 percent) dominates the mobile social-gaming category. Europe is second, at 30 percent, with Asia a distant third at 4 percent. To put U.S. mobile gaming into perspective, the audience exceeds that of any primetime television show, the best of which can top 20 million viewers on days airing new episodes. Contrast this with the 26 million unique users who spend more than 25 minutes per day playing social games, every day of the year.

The average age of the mobile gamer is 28 compared to 34 for their traditional counterparts, and 53 percent are female versus only 40 percent of gamers on consoles. Female social gamers tend to skew older, with a higher proportion of women than men playing in the 26 through 65 age bracket. But boys and men slightly outpace girls and women in the 13 to 25 age range.

In terms of income, the typical mobile social gamer earns 50 percent more than the average U.S. household income of $43,600, and is twice as likely to have earned a college degree or higher.

But clearly you don’t need to be affluent or hold a college degree to be a social gamer. With popular titles like Angry Birds, Zombie Farm, Smurfs’ Village and Doodle Jump leading the way, it’s more about a little relaxation and escapism at the end of a long hard day!

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