The Modern Mobile Gamer — A Study of Everything

Sep 10, 2020
By: Jean Ortiz-Luis

It’s no secret that mobile gaming as a market has been burgeoning over recent years. Prior to this year’s COVID-19 prompted boom, games were far and away the most popular mobile app category in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store by share of available apps. Because the vast majority of gaming apps are free-to-play, anyone with access to a smartphone has the chance to become a committed mobile gamer. With the availability of games that appeal to broader audiences, people are spending more and more time and money on mobile gaming.

So who are mobile gamers, exactly? It’s a question that has been incessantly asked not just in the gaming industry but also among advertisers looking to reach consumers in this channel. To get a definitive answer, AdColony partnered with consumer insights platform DISQO to survey 1,200 verified mobile users about their mobile gaming behaviors, preferences, and sentiments.

The Modern Mobile Gamer Report confirms that mobile gamers come from all age groups, not just young people, and there is an almost 50/50 split in gender. Additionally, people with higher education degrees and high household incomes are heavily engaged in mobile games. The report reveals insights into the types of mobile games consumers turn to the most, why they play, and what they are doing at the same time. The study also explores how mobile gamers fit into the overall landscape of the gaming world by detailing if they self-identify as “gamers” and how they are playing on their consoles and computers.


Topics include:

  • Who is the American Mobile Gamer?
    • The demographics of mobile gamers and how often they are playing
  • Game Categories
    • Most popular mobile game genres
  • Do You Identify as a Gamer?
    • Which groups identify themselves as gamers
  • The Gaming Experience
    • Why consumers play and how they are multi-tasking while playing
  • Rewarded Video Versus In-App Purchases
    • Which monetization method do mobile gamers prefer
  • The Gamer Stereotype — All Wrong
    • How mobile gamers are playing beyond their smartphones on their consoles and computers

About the Study
The survey was developed by AdColony and DISQO and distributed online to a nationally representative sample of DISQO Audience members within the United States via the Survey Junkie platform, which is wholly owned by DISQO. The survey was taken on both desktop and mobile devices, garnering a total of 1,208 responses over a fourteen-day period in Q2 of 2020. As each respondent was a member of DISQO’s 100% first-party opt-in research audience, responses were verified against fraud and were compiled against known and validated demographic information, enabling a rich, cohorted analysis by age, gender, education level, household income, and more. 



DISQO is a consumer-first insights platform that delivers unprecedented data and analytics to the market research industry. The company powers insights professionals and marketers with automated solutions that drive consumer research and improve ad effectiveness. Today, DISQO delivers an accurate and complete view of the consumer via technology built on the foundation of first-party research from millions of engaged consumers. By enabling consumers to openly share their attitudes and behaviors, DISQO captures the highest quality data, empowering its clients to make confident decisions.

By Jean Ortiz-Luis
Read more by this author