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NPD: 78 percent of 'core gamers' buy used games

A new NPD report covering "Core Gaming" reveals that the used games market is thriving, and that digital has "plenty of room to grow."


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.

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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  • reply
    March 6, 2013 1:15 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, NPD: 78 percent of 'core gamers' buy used games.

    A new NPD report covering "Core Gaming" reveals that the used games market is thriving, and that digital has "plenty of room to grow."

    • reply
      March 6, 2013 2:55 PM

      I wonder how many rent?

      • reply
        March 7, 2013 6:47 AM

        I would bet money that the majority of "core gamers" do everything. Buy and sell used, rent games, buy new titles on release, and often wait for Steam sales on less-important games. And pirate from time to time, for that matter, though I suspect that is decreasing.

      • reply
        March 7, 2013 9:03 AM

        I'm sure that number has gone down significantly with the decline in video stores. It's basically gamefly or nothing a lot of the time (although redbox has an ok selection as well).

    • reply
      March 6, 2013 2:59 PM

      It seems like a high number but I've picked up used games that I can't find new anymore. Buying the previous gen games when Gamestop is having a fire sale is how I found some gems on the cheap in the PS1 era.

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      March 6, 2013 3:02 PM

      I don't know if that follows. I'm a 'core gamer", and I've purchased used games, but never for a newish release. My used games tend to be "Hey, I haven't played that old DS game in a while, and my copy got stolen, I wonder if GameOver has a copy?"

    • reply
      March 7, 2013 3:10 AM

      83% of PC gamers buy most games only on Steam seasonal sales.

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