Online Gaming 2012 NPD’s Online Gaming 2012 report stated that 67 percent of all gamers reported acquiring at least one game in either a physical or digital format in the past three months, 75 percent when looking specifically at online gamers. Gamers reported acquiring an average of eight games, with those acquiring only digital games reporting an average of six games compared to three for those acquiring only physical games; those that acquired games in both physical and digital formats 15, including free or paid games.

“Gamers are growing more comfortable in acquiring content online, as we saw the preference for digital increase ten percentage points from last year,” said Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “The proliferation of free games on mobile devices has reduced the barrier of entry for online gaming to zero, fueling an increase in acquisition.”

Gamers have said that the other entertainment features on their console/portable device are slightly causing them to game less. Similarly, there is a slight increase in those saying they are spending less money on gaming due to the entertainment features available and over one-in-five online gamers state that other household members are using their systems for other entertainment activities, also up 3 percentage points from 2011.

“Every year at E3, we hear about new non-gaming features being added to major console and portable device manufacturers’ online services,” said Callahan. “It is reasonable to expect changes in the share of time and spend as consumers become aware and increasingly comfortable with the number of features, including gaming, available through their multifunctional devices.”