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72% of gamers play online - NPD

New report finds number of players, time spent gaming online both up year-over-year

More online gamers are gaming online more. That's the takeaway of the NPD Group's Online Gaming 2013 report, which found significant year-over-year growth in the number of gamers playing online, as well the hours spent gaming in an average week.

In a survey of more than 8,800 gamers conducted earlier this year, 72 percent of US respondents said they played games online, up from 67 percent last year. They also reported gaming more, with the average weekly time spent playing online up 6 percent. The boost in overall gaming time per week was 9 percent.

The NPD said the increase in online playtime was reflected across "virtually every type of device." The PC remains the most popular choice for online gaming, with 68 percent of the respondents using that platform. However, that's down from 72 percent last year. Meanwhile, mobile devices saw a double-digit percentage point increase this year, with 56 percent of gamers using them to play online.

Digital distribution also continues to win over the gaming public. The report found that 62 percent of players preferred to buy physical games, down from 65 percent last year.

"While many gamers prefer games in the physical format, the increased availability of digital content paired with a greater amount of connected devices has driven an increase in the number of consumers going online to access the content they want," said NPD analyst Liam Callahan.

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Latest comments (6)

David Serrano Freelancer 3 years ago
But what is NPD's criteria for playing "on-line?" For example... do they categorize Facebook games players as on-line players?
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Pier Castonguay Programmer 3 years ago
Also note that pirates play exclusively offline and they are not included in their stats and they are still quite a big chunk.
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 3 years ago
68 percent of PC gamers played online games, but what percentage of their total game time was spent playing games online ?
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Show all comments (6)
Michael Vandendriessche Studying Computer Science, K.U. Leuven3 years ago
It doesnt say anything about the ratio of single player only gamers, offline-only (sp & mp) and online gamers (and what about online single player?)
Does this mean more single player only gamers now try out online games too? I can't conclude that from the article. Maybe both type of gamers increased. (That's what i think)
is the hours spent per individual or total?

Personally I prefer playing single player games but if I look at my time spent that clearly contradicts it.
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David Serrano Freelancer 3 years ago
@Michael Vandendriessche

Yeah... I think this probably misleading because there is a difference between playing a game on-line and PvP / competitive multiplayer.
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Christopher Thigpen Lead Producer, Kiz Studios3 years ago
Regardless of these made-up stats. Gamers are multi-tasking between online and offline games. Polls cannot successfully gauge those that are on and those that are off. Looks to me like this is a biased study.
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