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Toddlers and Android smartphones make the gaming world go ‘round

by Kristen Nicole

Gotta start ‘em young, right? Apparently that goes for gamers, too. A recent study from NPD shows that 91 percent of kids between the ages of 2-17 are playing video games, a 13 percent increase from two years back. But guess who’s fueling much of that growth? Kids aged 2-5, thanks to smartphones. These toddlers are the fastest growing group of gamers, with the kid demographic overall comprising 44 percent of new physical software dollar sales. It’s an interesting opportunity for Android game publishers, as smartphone and tablet devices are the fastest growing sector in gaming devices. NPD reports that games played on mobile devices alone has risen from 8 percent to 38 percent in two years, with Android and iOS devices accounting for most of this growth.

As gaming devices proliferate across the mobile scene, Replay Games hopes to take you back to your younger days as it works to bring the original Leisure Suit Larry games to Android. With the rights to the entire game series, including Land of the Lounge Lizards, Replay Games is planning for an HD release sometime next year. It’s the latest PC classic to cast eyes on the Android Market, contributing to a trend of game revival and survival, appealing to new generations as technology never ceases its transition.

Rentals, bundled games top marketing trends

The booming activity amongst mobile gamers is also encouraging new marketing strategies, presenting more opportunities for carriers like T-Mobile. It’s teamed up with WildTangent to offer Android game rentals, with nearly 40 titles including Burn the Rope and Call of Duty. Steeped in virtual currency, you’ll need to purchase WildCoins in order to rent Android games for the equivalent of 25 cents, the rental period lasting 24 hours.

Bundled game packages offer another mechanism for spurring Android game purchases, with the Corona Indie Bundle offering five top titles for 99 cents, and proceeds going to charity. This is only a small step in Corona’s big plan to push more than 100,000 bundles, which will unlock a sixth mystery game for buyers. That should incentivize you to tell your friends, spreading more games to more players, raising even more money for a few good causes. Corona’s tapping into several growing marketing trends right now, spanning social sharing and non-profit fundraising.