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29 Percent of Games Purchased Digitally

The NPD Group announced that, according to its latest study, an average of 71% of games acquired in the past three months are comprised of physical games and 29% are digital.

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Unedited press release follows:

The NPD Group Reports On Video Game Purchase Drivers

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, December 16, 2010 – According to Games Purchase Drivers 2010, the most recent study from leading market research company, The NPD Group, an average of 71 percent of games acquired in the past three months are comprised of physical games and 29 percent are digital. Among buyers of digital video games, gaming web sites were the most used source of acquisition for purchase of digital games, with 47 percent of buyers using sites like BigFishGames and

Forty-two percent of buyers bought games through apps stores or cell phone carriers, while 30 percent of buyers purchased through console/portable services such as Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. In addition to full game purchases, about 1-in-5 buyers report buying add-on content in the past three months.

“With a wide array of content available for digital download, clearly the purchase drivers are going to differ depending if someone is downloading a frontline core gaming title versus a lower priced app or casual game,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “And the drivers for purchasing downloadable content are very different from those that spark a full-game purchase. This study provides the nuance into how various groups of consumers consider their purchases depending on the type of game they’re interested in.”

Payment Method
Video game purchasers report that they bought an average of 3.1 full games (for themselves or for someone else) in the past three months. Credit cards and cash were the most frequently used sources of payment, but nearly 10 percent of buyers report using a trade-in to fund their purchase.

The study fielded from October 18 – November 8, 2010, and was completed by 3,704 members of NPD’s Online Panel, ages 2+. Responses for children under age 13 were captured by surrogate reporting where the mother either brings the child to the computer or she answers on behalf of the child. Qualified respondents acquired at least one full game in the past 3 months in at least one of the following ways: Personally purchased (either for themselves or someone else); Received (either as a gift or someone else purchased it for them); or Purchased with a gift card or points card. The games can be for any system or device. The sample was weighted and balanced to be representative of the U.S. population age 2+. Statistical significance testing was employed at the 95% confidence level .

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless.