The NPD Group Provides Insight into Gamer Incidence and Gaming Device Usage Across Key Global Video Games Markets

LAS VEGAS, February 9, 2012 – At the 2012 D.I.C.E. (Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain) Summit, The NPD Group’s video game industry analyst, Anita Frazier, today presented information on fourth quarter 2011 (Oct.-Dec.) gaming content acquisition incidence and device usage across the United States and key gaming markets in Europe. Those markets, UK, France and Germany, have a combined population representing close to two-thirds of the U.S. population.  This information sources from NPD’s expanding portfolio of global tracking research available through its U.S. Games Market Dynamics and its soon-to-be-released Europe Games Market Dynamics.

Gamer incidence, defined as those who play video games, own at least one gaming device and use it to play games, was higher during Q4’11 in the three European markets than in the United States, which still maintained the largest number of absolute gamers.

When breaking down gamer incidence by age, there was a higher percentage of gamers across ages 13-34 in the three European countries. Looking across the four countries, the UK stands out as having the highest incidence of both physical and digital purchase incidence. Germany has a nearly equal number of consumers purchasing games in the physical and digital formats, while the French are predominantly physical format purchasers.

Device Usage by Country
Interestingly, when looking at device usage across geographies, each of the four countries has a device it can claim as having the #1 usage incidence: Germany has the highest usage of computers for gaming compared to the other 3 geographies; the UK has the highest usage of consoles; in the United States, app devices have become increasingly popular and exceed all other geographies in usage; in France traditional portable video game systems have the highest usage compared to the US, France, and Germany. In the United States, portable hardware usage is now much smaller than app device usage, with close to half of portable users also playing games on app devices. In the European markets, app device gaming is currently at the same level as portable gaming.   

“Digital distribution provides the games industry with an opportunity to reach consumers on a global basis faster than ever before,” said Frazier. “Gaming is a global business and one that needs to take into account the unique dynamics within each country. It’s critical for the industry to better understand these dynamics, including consumer preferences for acquiring content as well as device usage. This is information that can be used at both a strategic and tactical level in order to reduce risk.”

The NPD Group’s U.S. Games Market Dynamics
NPD’s U.S. Games Market Dynamics covers the entire U.S. games industry at the category level. Our new core product for all U.S. games clients, this service includes market size by segment, key market insights, and analysis of emerging trends. It integrates point-of-sale and consumer information to provide analysis of delivery method (physical, digital), hardware sales, accessories by type and platform, and gaming content, including new and used physical sales, digital downloads and add-on content, rentals, social network gaming, subscriptions, and mobile games.

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