With the rise in smartphone adoption drive, the social play and mobile gaming increase significantly. The leader companies in measuring the digital world have released an overview of mobile gaming behavior across the five leading European markets including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom and revealed that that 42 percent of smartphone users in EU5 reported playing a game on their device. This is a 55% increase over the past year and as mobile games evolve from simple pre-loaded games to highly challenging and visually appealing games, their entertainment value increases substantially.

Europe product manager for Mobile at comScore, internet technology company, Hesham Al-Jehani comments:

“The rise in mobile gaming is being propelled by the rapid adoption of smartphones and the vast ecosystems of game apps they provide. But another important – and perhaps less often reported – driver of mobile gaming is that many can be played without accessing the internet on people’s phones. This means that gaming is an easy way to fill idle time on the underground or in other locations where internet access is spotty.”

The research has also revealed that nearly half of top EU 5 country smartphone users are gamers, with the UK to be the largest market for mobile gaming with 14.2 million smartphone users (52 percent of the smartphone audience) playing games on their devices during the month. Moreover, British users proved to be first in terms of gaming penetration across daily and weekly gaming usage as well.

With this said, the majority of EU5 smartphone gamers logged into a social game on their devices (up 42 percent in the past six months), representing 13.2 percent of smartphone gamers overall. Among the 1 million EU5 smartphone gamers, Italian smartphone gaming audience ranked first in terms of the penetration at 15%, followed by UK and France. 

On top of that, a new report from Juniper Research finds that soaring usage of social gaming - driven largely by the sharp rise in smartphone adoption - will push the global market for virtual goods bought from mobile social media services from $3 billion this year to $4.6 billion by 2016.  According to the survey, sales of virtual goods via mobile social media services are flourishing not only in Europe, but in Japan and China as well; as social gaming familiarizes consumers with virtual goods, this trend will quickly become global!