The NPD Group today announced that there are about 211.5 million gamers in the US, which is down five percent compared to last year. The firm's newest report, Gamer Segmentation 2012: The New Faces of Gamers, notes that of the six gamer segments outlined, only Mobile Gamers and Digital Gamers saw increases in the number of gamers when compared to 2011, with Mobile Gamers up 9 points to 22 percent and Digital Gamers up 4 points to 16 percent.
Importantly, Mobile Gamers now represent the largest gamer segment, ahead of Core Gamers, which was the largest segment in 2011. NPD also said that the Family+Kid gamers segment experienced the most significant decline of an estimated 17.4 million gamers.
"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 Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "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."
"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," she continued. "Because of this, our next study, which will be released later this month, takes a deeper look into the area of mobile gaming."