Cable execs often see mobile tablets and smartphones as primarily extensions of  linear TV, EPGs/remote controls or social media tools, but a new study by Frank N. Magid Assoc and PlayFirst reminds us that they’re also major gaming hubs.
According to the study, 61 million total gamers prefer tablets for mobile gaming, and that number has increased nearly 70% YOY. Of the 69% of tablet owners who regularly play games, 31% buy in-game virtual goods, spending an average of $48 each over the last year. That pegs in-game virtual good spending for tablet games at about $914 million. Smartphones represent considerably less with $341 million, but the study found that gaming on smartphones is also exploding, with 54 million smartphone gamers, up nearly 50% increase YOY.
“We started seeing the emergence of the tablet as a huge gaming platform last year,” said Magid Advisors pres Mike Vorhaus. “Now tablet gaming growth is pushing big increases on in-game virtual goods spending and driving big revenue. The tablet is really the TV of video. The great majority of tablet owners love tablet gaming, and the tablet is becoming their go-to device for gaming.”
So will more programmers incorporate gaming into the mobile experience in light of this apparent growth? Time will tell…  

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