Core leadership under threat

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The rising market in what stat trackers NPD 'digital gamers' is threatening to overthrow hardcore gamers as the most active segment in the market.

A new NPD report entitled Gamer Segmentation 2011 says that traditional core gamers typically spend around 18 hours a week playing games. Digital gamers meanwhile, are quickly closing the gap with an average weekly play time of 16 hours.

In addition, core gamers are said to acquire around 5.4 games every three months while digital gamers buy 5.9 games in the same period – though, of course, for a far lower overall value.

Core gamers still account for 23 per cent of the overall US market, though family and child gamers now account for 22 per cent.

The name of the game in 2011 seems to be choice," NPD analyst Anita Frazier stated. "Gamers are increasingly branching out to methods of play other than those that the industry has traditionally expected them to use.

"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.”