Free And Mobile Gamers Outnumber Console Players

by Ben Reeves on Jun 05, 2013 at 03:03 PM

Confirming what anyone who's ridden a bus lately could probably guess, the NPD recently released a study that shows that the free and mobile segment of the gaming population is the largest segment of gaming...and it's growing.

According to NPD's Gamer Segmentation 2013 report, the segment of gamers who admit to playing free or mobile games has grown 2 percent this last year, helping the category grow to 29 percent of the gaming population. Console gaming may also be on the rise, as gamers who play on multiple systems, like consoles and PC, has risen to consume 16 percent of the gaming population. The study also revealed that avid gamers tend to play games on an average of five difference devices, but the Xbox 360 seems to be the most popular console among this segment.

Want to know which mobile games you should be playing? Check out our Essential iOS/Android List from last year or our more recent spotlight of ten worthwhile mobile sports titles. Jump to the next page for a look at NPD's press release.

Core Console Gamers on average spend more than any other gaming segment
PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, June 5, 2013 – According to Gamer Segmentation 2013, the latest report from global information company, The NPD Group, among all gamers in the U.S., 29 percent fall into the Free & Mobile Gamer segment, an increase of 2 percentage points over 2012.
Avid Omni Gamers, those who are frequent gamers and play on multiple systems with consoles and the PC being the devices of choice, is the only other segment to experience growth; this segment increased slightly to represent 16 percent of the gamer population. The remaining segments: Casual Gamer, Core Console Gamer, Family Gamer and Social Gamer, either decreased or remained unchanged over 2012.
“Growth among both the Free & Mobile Gamer and Avid Omni Gamer segments speaks to the different types of gamer personalities, the type of experiences they are looking for and the growing opportunities provided by different gaming capable devices” said Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group.
According to the report, gamers are choosing to play on a variety of devices. Core Console Gamers report playing on the most systems - an average of five, with the Xbox 360 being the most popular among this segment. Additionally, Core Console Gamers are spending more money across both physical and digital games compared to the other segments profiled in this report.
Although using consoles or portable systems for non-gaming activities increased slightly, gaming is still the primary function for these systems. Core Console Gamers are the segment most likely to agree that they use their device for something other than gaming, exhibiting the largest increase in agreement from 2012 - an increase of 6 percentage points to 26 percent. This group, which has the highest usage of Xbox 360 and PS3, appears to be taking advantage of the multi-functionality of those devices such as streaming movies. Core Console Gamers are also significantly more likely to report their family members are using their devices for non-gaming activities as well (34 percent).
“Non-gaming features are allowing for a broadening of the gamer consumer base for consoles as gamers’ family members are becoming more comfortable with their gaming devices and starting to play more often,” said Callahan.
An online survey was fielded in March 2013 to members of NPD’s online panel. The survey was completed by 8,831 individuals ages 2 and older. For children under the age of 16, respondents were contacted using a parental surrogate, with the parent being asked to bring the child to the computer to answer the survey questions. The data are weighted and representative of the US population ages 2 and older.
About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food/foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter: @npdtech and @npdgroup.