Number of US gamers in 2012 declined by 5% – NPD report

Wednesday, 5th September 2012 15:50 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

NPD Group has released a report citing a decline in the number of gamers in the US during 2012.

According to the firm’s Gamer Segmentation 2012: The New Faces of Gamers report, there are currently 211.5 million gamers in America, which is a 5% decline year-over-year

The report segments six types of gamers and the only segments to show an increase in gamers were the Mobile and Digital Gamer segments. Mobile Gamers are up to 22% and Digital Gamers are up 16% year-over-year.

Mobile Gamers also represent the largest segment, ahead of Core Gamers, which in 2011 was the largest segment.

“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 NPD analyst Anita 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.

“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. Because of this, our next study, which will be released later this month, takes a deeper look into the area of mobile gaming.”

The Family+Kid segment had the most significant decline of all segments with 17.4 million gamers less than in 2011.

Thanks, GI International.



  1. TMRNetShark

    Same games, different year.

    Plus last year’s fall lineup was nothing but sequels (some good, some bad) while the right of Winter/Spring/Summer 2012 was definitely lackluster to say the least. There were very much notable releases in 2012 (like Max Payne, Mass Effect, etc)… but yet again… sequels.

    I think the only unique IP game that is releasing this fall is Dishonored (which I’m definitely getting)… You could say the XCOM reboot (which I’m also getting), but the last game was like 20 years ago.

    Now don’t get me wrong, there are some exciting games coming out this Fall… I’m just saying that making sequel after sequel probably isn’t good for diversifying your market of the AAA. Companies want to make a profit… so they stick with what made them money *hoping* you’d buy the second, third, or in Square Enix’s case… the 13th *winch* game. I’m not surprised that there are people out there that are like… why should I keep playing the same game over and over again for 5+ years? *CoughCoDCough*

    Make more IPs, make different games, actually sell games that people want to play! Somebody needs to make a zombie survival game like DayZ and The War Z for consoles because the PC market has a straggle hold on it.

    Also, PC gaming has been more important lately as some developers are trying to do more than just port the game to PC hardware (along with indie developers making the most impressive of games). I thought it was completely stupid of Sony and M$ to not release their new consoles for another year. My PS3 is from freakin 2005… My laptop is stronger than it… and my laptop is 4 years old!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Gheritt White


    #2 2 years ago
  3. OlderGamer


    I fully agree with you 100%.

    Of course, be warned, everytime I say the same stuff you did, people like to jump down my throat. There are a lot of people here with their heads in the sand.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. viralshag

    Yes, that’s totally it. The lack of new IPs and the continual sale of sequels.

    Boggles the mind then why AC: Revs, fourth game of the series this gen, supposedly sold more copies alone than that of Amalur, Dragon’s Dogma and Sleeping Dogs combined.

    I’m *sure* Dishonored is going to sell 10 million copies because it’s clearly the game the industry has been waiting for and totally not the next CoD game… that probably won’t even sell.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. AHA-Lambda

    @4 – this. As much as we moan about it the only games that seem to sell are the annualised ones, not the new IPs.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Wulfgar

    Yea but AC Revelations was a solid game in a great series. I don’t care if it’s a new IP, Amalur was a boring generic fantasy RPG while Sleeping Dogs was a GTA clone set in Hong Kong. You need quality to back up new releases.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. eztliryu226

    totally agree with number 1. Its just sequel after sequel i’d like to see more jrpgs personally there has been nothing but a priority of shooters in the last 10 years *since halo set the trend* and thats all you really see nwo adays from the same old COD games and halo games and other games just doing it up FPS style. We don’t want sequels we want awesome ORIGINAL IPS, kind of like how platinum games did with there games bayonetta which yes is like devil may cry but had its own touch and than vanquish. just as an example

    #7 2 years ago

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