A new NPD report covering "Core Gaming" has a few interesting stats about the industry. NPD defines a "core gamer" as someone that spends more than 5 hours per week gaming on a console or gaming PC across certain "non-casual" genres. According to their study, 14% of the US population aged 9 and above would be considered a "core gamer," representing an audience of 37.5 million people.
Amongst the 6,322 people surveyed by the firm, more core gamers are saying that their spending has decreased year-over-year. And although spending has dropped, 88% of core gamers say they have purchased new physical games.
Core gamers don't exclusively purchase new games, however. According to the NPD study, 78% of core gamers have purchased physical used games as well, suggesting that the used games market is thriving.
Gamers are also increasingly turning to buying games digitally, with 70% of core gamers saying they've purchased a full digital game. Liam Callahan, NPD analyst, says that the survey suggests that "while many core gamers indicate they are purchasing full games and digital add-on content frequently," there is still "plenty of room to grow," given that a sizable percentage of core gamers have never purchased any digital content.
As gaming continues to evolve, it'll be interesting to see how the core consumes content. Right now, it appears that core gamers are quite omnivorous, buying new, used, and digital content.