The NPD Group, the same company that delivers the monthly sales charts for the United States, has launched a new report which shows that the number of gamers in the United States has declined during 2012 for the first time in years.
The report is called Gamer Segmentation 2012: The New Faces of Gamers and it says that there are 211.5 million gamers in the United States, which is a decline of about 5 percent when compared to 2011.
The only categories that have seen an increase during the last year are mobile gamers
, of which there are 22% more, and digital gamers, who are up by 16 percent.
The core gaming segment has managed to keep level when compared to 2011.
The biggest decline in the study has been linked to the Family & Kid segment, which has managed to lose about 17 million gamers.
Anita Frazier, who is an analyst working with the NPD Group, has commented on the findings, stating, “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. 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.”
The analyst also believes that the mobile gaming segment is the most important for the industry at the moment and says that the NPD Group will take a deeper look at it in an upcoming report.
Big publishers ranging from Electronic Arts to THQ are trying to create more mobile-based experiences. At the same time, handhelds like the PlayStation Vita and the Nintendo 3DS are threatened by the rise of tablets and other mobile gaming devices.
It’s unclear how the coming launch of the Nintendo Wii U will impact the distribution of gamers.