“Extreme gamers” spend an average of 45 hours per week playing, says NPD

By Patrick Garratt
11 August 2008 12:14 GMT

According to research conducted by NPD, “extreme Gamers” spend an average of 45 hours a week on their favourite waste of time, and have purchased 24 titles in the past three months.

The report, titled Games Segmentation 2008, claims that, of the 174 million gamers who personally play games at all, 3 percent are EXTREME GAMERZ, 9 percent are “avid PC Gamers,” 17 percent are “console gamers,” 14 percent “online PC gamers,” 15 percent are “offline PC gamers,” 22 percent are “young geavy gamers” and 20 percent are “secondary gamers.”

More categorialisational epiphanies after the break.


extreme gamers spend an average of 45 hours per week playing video games

New Study Profiles Seven Gaming Segments by Key Behavioral Metrics,

Usage Patterns and Purchasing Preferences

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, August 11, 2008 – Extreme Gamers spend an average of 45 hours a week playing video games and have purchased 24 titles in the past three months, according to Games Segmentation 2008, the most recent report from leading market research company, The NPD Group.

The report provides detailed analysis into seven gamer segments, which are defined by ownership, usage and frequency. It identifies the video game platforms and genres, as well as retailers that appeal to various gamer segments, helping the industry to better understand ownership and usage patterns within these segments.

Of the 174 million gamers who personally play games on PC/Mac or video game systems, 3 percent are Extreme Gamers, 9 percent are Avid PC Gamers, 17 percent are Console Gamers, 14 percent Online PC Gamers, 15 percent are Offline PC Gamers, 22 percent are Young Heavy Gamers and 20 percent are Secondary Gamers.

With over 38 million gamers, Young Heavy Gamers is the largest and one of the heaviest gaming groups in the U.S. The Extreme and Young Heavy Gamers over-index on every video game system with the Extreme Gamer showing a strong preference for PS3 and 360 and the Young Heavy showing a strong preference for portables.

Given their size and heavy gaming characteristics, Young Heavy Gamers typically make up at least one-third of any system’s owners and tend to gravitate towards portable platforms. For Nintendo DS (NDS) and PlayStation Portable (PSP), six out of every 10 owners are Young Heavy Gamers. Console Gamers is the second largest segment of the owner base of any system, with the exception of the NDS and PSP.

According to the report, while the PC is used more than any single console for gaming, Console Gamers, Young Heavy Gamers and Extreme Gamers are more likely to use consoles than a PC to play video games.

“Although Extreme Gamers are heavily involved with the industry, they represent a small portion of the potential market for any new game that comes to market,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “In order to promote continued growth, we must better understand all of the gaming segments.”

Ownership, Time and Wallet Share

Amongst next-generation console owners, PlayStation 3 owners are most likely to own other next-generation consoles compared to Wii and Xbox 360 owners. While 45 percent of PlayStation Portable owners also own a Nintendo DS, only 21 percent of Nintendo DS owners also own a PlayStation Portable. Only 10% of PlayStation 2 owners also own the PlayStation 3.

Both Console Gamers and Extreme Gamers dominate when it comes to the number of hours spent playing video games per week, with an average of 8.2 hours per week and 22.3 hours per week, respectively.

When it comes to purchasing power, Extreme Gamers lead all segments, buying nearly 24 titles across all their systems in the past three months. This is over seven times more than the second leading purchasing segment, Console Gamers, who on average purchased only 3.2 games in the past three months.

The Advent of Digital Purchases

In total, gaming consumers indicated approximately 14-percent of games purchased in the past 3 months were digital downloads. Avid PC Gamers had the highest incidence with 27-percent of their purchases being digital. In terms of content, more than half of Extreme Gamers and just over a third of Avid PC Gamers stated they would definitely download a feature to enhance a specific game that they own.


The data was collected from more than 20,000 members of NPD’s online consumer panel, ages two to 65+. Responses for consumers ages six to 12 were captured by instructing a parent to take his or her child in this age range to the computer to answer the questions, either with or without the parent’s assistance. Qualified respondents reported they personally play video games on a PC, on a console or portable system, or on another device such

as a mobile phone. The following four key variables were used to create the gamer segments: ownership; usage; frequency; and purchased/received video games. Final survey data was weighted to represent the U.S. population of individuals ages 2 and older. Fieldwork was conducted from January 11-February 5, 2008.

Note: This study was conducted in January, meaning that questions that refer to

consumer behavior in the past three months include the Christmas/Hanukkah holidays.

Games Segmentation 2008 differs from Gamer Segmentation II (May 2007) primarily in

the revised sampling methodology and the revised and updated Segment definitions.

Gamer Segmentation II used a sample of individuals age 6 to 44. Games Segmentation

2008 uses a sample of individuals 2 to 99. By including all gamers, NPD will be able to continue to use and trend these segments for future waves.

About The NPD Group, Inc.

The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,600 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us or visit http://www.npd.com/.

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