Video Games Sales Slow, But Still Going Strong
March 7, 2013

Core Gamers Continue To Buy Games, But At A Slower Rate

Enid Burns for — Your Universe Online

Even in a harsh economic climate, gamers continue to spend money on games, according to a new report. "Core Gaming 2013," a report released by The NPD Group, finds that almost half of the US population 9 and older play video games on a core gaming device. Purchasing of new games continues, but the rate of spending in the category is somewhat reduced compared to a year ago.

While core gamers are still purchasing games, the rate at which they purchase is going down somewhat. The report finds, "There are approximately 10 percent more core gamers saying that their spending has decreased versus a year ago than there are those stating that their purchases have increased, reflecting a decline that is in alignment with recent retail sales patterns."

The economy is one factor in video game sales. However another factor that could cause a reduction in purchasing of video games is a lack of new content. Nintendo released its Wii U console in November, however many gamers are waiting for next generation systems from Microsoft and Sony. Game developers are also holding some titles for the release of next generation systems.

Fully 88 percent of core gamers state that they purchased new physical games, with physical used games and digital full games being frequent options as well, those figures were 78 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

"Digital purchasing among core gamers has plenty of room to grow," said Liam Callahan, industry analyst for The NPD Group. "While many core gamers indicate they are purchasing full games and digital add-on content frequently, there are those that stated they have never purchased digital content."

The report considers core gamers as the population that plays a core gaming device such as a console. Core gamers play games in categories including action, adventure, fighting, flight, massively multiplayer, racing, real time strategy, role-playing, shooter or sport games on a PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC or a Mac, and spend five hours or more per week on any of these qualified devices. Of the US population, only 14 percent, or 37.5 million people, are considered to be core gamers.

For the three-month period of the fourth quarter of 2012, the majority of core gamers spent the most on new physical games. Core gamers spent an average of $129 on new games. Digital full games and used games followed behind. Core gamers spent less than half of the average spent on new physical titles for purchases of digital downloads and used games.

The NPD Group conducted an online survey between January 4 and January 23, 2013 to members of NPD's online panel. The survey was completed by 6,322 individuals ages 9 and older. In cases of children between the ages of 9 and 16, the survey was sent to a parental surrogate, who was asked to respond to the survey with their child present to answer questions.