A new report from research firm Newzoo, the "2012 US Country Report," comes to the conclusion that the U.S video games market spending grew one percent, or $21.9 Billion, in 2012. The report also notes that, of the 157 million gamers in the U.S., 86 million spend money on games. Time spent on games in the US is also up significantly: 26 percent versus 18 percent for Europe.
But the biggest growth, they say, is in the number of gamers that actually spend money: 33 percent in the US versus 17 percent in Europe. These numbers combined with a lower average spend per paying gamer, results in a 1 percent rise in money spend for the US. Newzoo says that the scope of the research is set up to include "every single dollar spent on games, including all digital and mobile spending as well as online skillgaming, pre-owned, import and DLC." Western Europe had a slightly higher growth percentage than the US at 3 percent.
The PC still grossed the most time and money spent when it comes to gaming, though Newzoo didn't offer any specific numbers to back that up.
"The budget of the 86 million American paying gamers is limited to an amount that fits with the position that games have in their life," said Peter Warman, CEO of Newzoo. "At the same time, the number of screens on which he or she can play games has doubled from two to four. Already, an impressive 22% of all American gamers play on all screens… So naturally, average spending is down per screen. The best news this year is that 24 million Americans are spending money on games for the first time. They are drawn in by smartphone and tablet games in combination with the free-to-play business model. Future growth in the US will come from this group as their average spending rises."
Other data from the report:
- Smartphone and tablets are complimentary, with more than 10 million Americans (12% of all mobile gamers) playing games on both a smartphone and tablet. This is higher than in Europe (7%).
- In 2012 the number of gamers rises with 8% to 157 million, of which 55% spends money.
- The Computer Screen still the most popular screen to play games, followed by the Entertainment screen. The Floating Screen (tablets + handheld consoles) monetizes best.
- The Floating screen has half the number of players compared to the Personal Screen (smartphones) but almost twice the money spend.
The full report can be found here.