According to our beloved NPD Group, the number of people playing video games in the US is shrinking in every gamer segment except for mobile gaming and downloadable/online games. In fact, they have found that the gamer group has shrunk by 5 percent since 2011.
The gamer segments that the market research grim tracked include core console gamers, light PC gamers, avid PC gamers, and family and kid gamers (I love their names). The family and kid gamer group shrunk the most by 17.4 million gamers. On the other side, the digital and mobile gamers grew to the point that the mobile category is now the largest out of all of the segments.
None of this should be that surprising, though. We've seen mobile gaming's popularity take off over the last five years, and most likely, the family and kid gaming residents migrated over to mobile. As more and more people buy smartphones and tablets, we'll see this number rise. My mom, who never let us game as kids and hates that I am a gamer, even plays games on her iPhone.
Of course, this news isn't so great for console developers and publishers, as the downslide in their segments means earning less money for titles that continually cost more and more to produce. Will a new generation of consoles force this to bounce back? It's a distinct possibility, but obviously we won't know more until the damned things actually launch.