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Most Game Purchases and Rentals Still Physical

The NPD Group announced that, according to Games Acquisition Monitor, 90% of all paid console video game acquisitions in the third quarter of 2009 were in the physical format, while 79% of games acquired for all other platforms which include portable, PC/MAC, mobile and smartphones, were in the physical format.

For more information visit: www.npd.com


Unedited press release follows:

NINETY PERCENT OF PAID CONSOLE VIDEO GAME ACQUISITIONS IN THE THIRD QUARTER OF 2009 WERE PHYSICAL FORMAT PURCHASES OR RENTALS

Physical Format Acquisition on All Other Platforms Comprises 79 Percent of Paid Game Acquisitions

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2010 – According to Games Acquisition Monitor, a quarterly report from leading market research company The NPD Group, 90 percent of all paid console video game acquisitions in the third quarter (Q3) of 2009 (July-September) were in the physical format, while 79 percent of games acquired for all other platforms which include portable, PC/MAC, mobile and smartphones, were in the physical format*.

Dual format (digital and physical) video game purchasers distinguish themselves from purely digital purchasers in that they are notably younger, since 70 percent of dual format buyers are under the age of 35 as compared to 46 percent for digital only purchasers. Dual format purchasers represent just 19 percent of all buyers but provide 40 percent of dollar volume.

Piracy, defined for this report as downloading files through Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks, is small relative to the music industry.  However, 4 percent of gamers, representing just over 6 million consumers, indicated that they downloaded files from P2P networks, with 72 percent of pirated downloads occurring for PC/Mac.

Throughout Q3’09, PC/Mac and console gaming were the most popular platforms among gamers, followed by portable systems and cell phones.  While smartphones ranked among the lowest in terms of gaming, cross-usage patterns reveal that users of XBox 360, PSP and DSi gaming devices showed notably higher cross-usage of the iPhone and iPod Touch for gaming as compared to users of other platforms

“While physical retail product remains the driving force behind industry sales, the role of digital distribution in the games ecosystem continues to climb,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Publishers and retailers must keep an eye on the current state of the marketplace and must map ahead for future strategies.”

Methodology
The NPD Group’s Games Acquisition Monitor is a quarterly tracker which measures both digital and physical forms of games acquisition activity, volume, awareness and usage of retailers and services, as well as other technology and entertainment activities that could influence game acquisition trends. It is based on online survey responses from over 8,000 members of NPD’s online consumer panel.  Data is weighted and projected to be representative of the U.S. population ages 2+.

* Physical format acquisitions include new and used game sales, physical add-ons (including song packs) as well as rentals. Total acquisition  dollar value  for Q3’09 was calculated  on reported unit transactions with an assumed price per unit for the various physical and digital game formats captured in the report.

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 1,700 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. For more information, contact us, visit http://www.npd.com/, or follow us Twitter at https://twitter.com/npdgroup.

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