The image of a "gamer" as someone who sits on a couch in the basement while playing Sony PlayStation or Xbox 360 is fading, as the abundance of new platforms and delivery systems is changing.
According to the NPD Group, Core Gamers, once the leading segment of people playing video games, are starting to be challenged by more casual gaming segments, particularly those playing mobile and digital games.
While the Core Gamer segment spent the most amount of time playing games (18 hours a week), the Digital Gamer segment is close behind, playing 16 hours a week. When it comes to acquiring games, Digital Gamers outpace the Core Gamer segment, acquiring an average of 5.9 games a week (compared with 5.4 a week for Core Gamers).
Although the Digital Gamers are becoming an increasingly important segment, Core Gamers still represent the highest amount of gamer identification (23%), followed by Family and Kid Gamers (22%), Avid and Light PC Gamers each represented 15% of gamers.
With so many places to play games, from smartphones, music players and PCS, most of the players in these segments are playing games on at least three platforms. "The name of the game in 2011 seems to be choice. Gamers are increasingly branching out to methods of play other than those that the industry has traditionally expected them to use," said Anita Frazier, NPD industry analyst, in a statement.
"Fueled by the growth of smartphones and new tablet devices, mobile gaming continues to accelerate, and what a game is and what it means to be a gamer is evolving, reflecting the rapid nature of change within the industry."