Gamer Down! Are Video Games Losing Their Shine?
September 7, 2012

Number Of US Video Gamers Down 5% This Year

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online

The number of Americans who play video games fell five percent this year, with 12 million fewer people playing the games this year compared with last year, according to market tracking firm NPD Group.

An estimated 212 million people, or roughly two-thirds of Americans, now play video games, according to the NPD report.

The number of mobile and digital gamers grew this year compared to last, with mobile gamers surpassing core gamers as the largest segment of people who play video games. However, the NPD said video game playing declined across all segments -- core, family, children, light PC and avid PC gamers.

"Given the long lifecycles of the current consoles and the increasing installed base of smartphones and tablets, it's not surprising to see a slight decline in the core gamer segment," said NPD Group video game industry analyst Anita Frazier.

"It's the revenue contribution of the core gamer segment that continues to outpace all other segments, and remains vital to the future of the industry."

Overall, gamers spent an average of $48 on physical games and $16 on digital games during the past three months, while core gamers spent $65 on physical games during the same time period, NPD said.

Nearly 14 percent of total gamers purchased microtransactions/additional game content in the past three months, compared with 11 percent during the same time period in 2011. Core gamers and digital gamers were the largest consumers of these types of purchases.

“While this study segments the gaming audience based on a number of key variables and attributes, looking across the total gaming audience we see a tremendous impact from mobile gaming, particularly on smartphones and tablets," said Frazier.

"Because of this, our next study, which will be released later this month, takes a deeper look into the area of mobile gaming."