US Games Market Grows 1% to $ 21.9 Billion in 2012

Newzoo’s free 2012 US Country Report shows a market that is almost flat in terms of total consumer spend. Under the surface, the research results show the effect of dramatically changed consumer behaviour. Of the 157 million US gamers, 86 million spend money on games.

Time spent on games in the US is up significantly: +26% versus +18% for Europe. Biggest growth is in the number of gamers that actually spend money: +33% US versus +17% for Europe. Combined with a lower average spend per paying gamer, this results in a +1% rise in money spend for the US. The scope of the research is set up to include every single dollar spent on games, including all digtal and mobile spending as well as online skillgaming, pre-owned, import and DLC.

Western Europe boasts a slightly higher growth percentage than the US: +3%. In brief, digital distributed content, online, smartphone and tablet games make up for the decline of boxed sales, but total consumer spend is relatively flat in Western markets. Since the uptake of tablets and smartphones as gaming device, consumers now have four screens to acces their entertainment. The PC still grosses most time and money, ahead of the TV screen, but already 22% of all American gamers play on all four screens.

Some other key take-aways from the country deck are:

  1. Smartphone and tablets are complimentary, with more than 10 million Americans (12% of all mobile gamers) playing games on both a smartphone and tablet. This is higher than in Europe (7%).
  2. In 2012 the number of gamers rises with 8% to 157 million, of which 55% spends money.
  3. The Computer Screen still the most popular screen to play games, followed by the Entertainment screen. The Floating Screen (tablets + handheld consoles) monetizes best.
  4. The Floating screen has half the number of players compared to the Personal Screen (smartphones) but almost twice the money spend.

Find out more regarding players, payers, money & time spend and screens in the US Country Deck: http://www.newzoo.com/trend-reports/us-games-market-2012-summary-report/

Peter Warman, CEO of Newzoo adds: “The budget of the 86 million American paying gamers is limited to an amount that fits with the position that games have in their life. At the same time, the number of screens on which he or she can play games has doubled from two to four. Already, an impressive 22% of all American gamers play on all screens… So naturally, average spending is down per screen. The best news this year is that 24 million Americans are spending money on games for the first time. They are drawn in by smartphone and tablet games in combination with the free-to-play business model. Future growth in the US will come from this group as their average spending rises.”


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