In sheer user numbers, big cities are unsurprisingly where you’ll find the most mobile gamers in the U.S. But they’re playing more in smaller cities and towns, according to a new report from mobile game company Pocket Gems.
The company was only able to look at metrics from its own games, of course, and it’s primarily focused on casual gamers on iOS, with simulation titles like Campus Life and Tap Paradise Cove. But with those caveats in mind, Pocket Gems found that its most engaged players — measured by average time spent in the games — were not in New York or San Francisco, but in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Players in Colorado Springs spent an average of five minutes and 35 seconds in the games per day, trailed by users in Reno, Nev., at 5:34; Honolulu at 5:21; Kennewick, Wash., at 5:17; and Albuquerque, N.M., at 5:13. The company also looked at which cities had the highest install rates for games as a percentage of their total populations. The winner? Tulsa, Okla., followed by Lexington, Ky., and Jackson, Miss.
As to why this is the case, Pocket Gems isn’t quite sure. Data head Michael Fedor said in an interview with Re/code that the odd report is a side effect of trying to understand its customer base better. Fedor speculated that the concentrations of gamers in smaller cities may speak to the power of localized word of mouth, whereas it might be harder for a startup to break through the noise of competing entertainment options in a big city.
“If you get 100 of your friends playing in Tulsa, that’ll pop bigger than 100 friends in L.A. or New York,” Fedor said.
Fedor declined to comment on specifics of the company’s marketing strategies, but said the company has not run a campaign targeted to the western half of the U.S. The fact that its most intense players skew in that direction, he said, seems to just be a coincidence.