As the audience for games continues to expand, a new study by research firm NPD Group said that more Americans are playing games than going out to the movies.
NPD’s study “Entertainment Trends In America” said that 63 percent of Americans have played a game in the last six months. Just 53 percent have gone out to see a movie during the same time period. The group said that the audience for gaming is expanding as consumers can access games through new outlets such as social gaming networks or digital storefronts.
The firm found that the average gamer spent just over $38 per month on “all types of gaming content” in the three months prior to March this year.
NPD analyst Russ Crupnick said that the market for physical gaming products still accounts for most of the sales in the gaming industry, but added, “digital downloads and other delivery and game-play formats are also rising in popularity.”
Thirty-one percent of gamers, NPD found, bought a console or portable video game in the past 12 months, up seven percentage points.
In addition, “traditional gamers” are playing games via new venues, as the past 12 months also shows:
- 31 percent played a game on a gaming website
- 12 percent played on a social networking site
- 19 percent played a game that was pre-installed on their mobile
- 11 percent bought and downloaded a game on their mobile
NPD also found that 12 percent of people plan on buying more video games over the next 12 months, while 13 percent said they plan on going to see more movies in the theater over the same time period.
While video games have made strides when compared to going out to movies, they have a long way to go before catching music. Ninety-four percent of Americans listened to music during the time period polled.
NPD analyst Anita Frazier said, “Video games account for one-third of the average monthly consumer spending in the U.S. for core entertainment content, including music, video, games.”
“While a portion of that share stems from the premium price of console games, we’re also seeing an overall increase in the number of people participating in gaming year-over-year.”