Mobile Users Boast the Biggest Gaming Posse, NPD Group Says

Paul Lilly

Move over PC and console gamers, and make way for the mobile crowd. According to new data by NPD Group , mobile users are the new face of gaming and represent just one of two segments that saw growth in the games industry. The other, not surprisingly, is digital gaming. As a whole, the total number of gamers in the U.S. is down, declining 5 percent (since 2011) to 211.5 million people, NPD Group reports.

"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 Anita Frazier , industry analyst for NPD Group. "Because of this, our next study, which will be released later this month, takes a deeper look into the area of mobile gaming."

So-called "Core Gamers" still spend more than any other category of gamer. On average, gamers spent $48 on physical games and $16 on digital games during the past three months, compared to Core Gamers, who spent $65 on physical games during the same time period.

"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 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."

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