Microsoft announced yesterday that they will be creating a mobile game studio, currently called “MGS mobile”, to create titles for the soon-to-be-released Windows Phone 7 platform.

The spotlight is shining even brighter on mobile gaming with the announcement that Sony Ericsson will be developing a gaming platform, ecosystem and device for the Android platform (rumor is it will be for the Android 3.0 OS).

Both of these announcements certainly draw more attention to this sector of gaming. Initial comscore reports for 2010 suggested that overall mobile gaming numbers were down Feb 09 – Feb 2010. However, the usage on smartphones for gaming has grown (+60%) and there is good reason to believe that this sector of gaming will grow with the deeper penetration of smart devices, both in usage and in time played. Some other interesting figures:

  • 47% of smartphone subscribers play monthly
  • 16% play daily
  • 16% play weekly
  • 17% play 1-3 times each week
  • About one-quarter play downloaded games
  • One quarter play pre-loaded games
  • Only about 5% play games using their mobile web browser

Growth in both the device development and content creation areas will spur further growth of mobile gaming. We can expect more announcements from big players in the mobile space to the same tune as those made by Microsoft and Sony Ericsson.