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Mobile gamers overtake 'core' gamers in the US, says NPD

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A new report from from the NPD group claims that mobile gamers are now the biggest segment of the market.

Guinness Mobile Games
Guinness Mobile Games

It's no secret that mobile gaming is growing, but according to a new report from the NPD group it now represents the largest segement of gamers in the US. Based on 8,488 surveys, NPD estimates that mobile gamers represent 22 percent of the market, a nine percent jump from 2011. Last year "core" gamers held the number one spot with an estimated 23 percent of the market. The report breaks down people who play games into six types — mobile, digital, core, light PC, avid PC, and family/ kid gamers — and aside from the mobile segment, only one other group saw an increase compared to 2011, with digital gamers seeing a slight four percent jump year-over-year. "We see a tremendous impact from mobile gaming, particularly on smartphones and tablets," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

"We see a tremendous impact from mobile gaming."

In spite of this, though, physical games still lead the way when it comes to spending dollars, likely due to their much higher price tags. According to NPD, over the past three months gamers spent an average of $48 on physical games compared to $16 for digital games. Unsurprisingly the core gamer segment lead the way by spending an average of $65 on physical games over that period. Things are a little more gloomy overall, however, with NPD estimating that the total number of gamers in the country decreased by five percent compared to last year — though maybe they can be lured back with some Bad Piggies.