NPD: 72 percent of US gamers play online

Online Gaming 2013 report finds an increase of 5 percent over last year; PC top online platform at 68 percent.

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The NPD Group today released the findings of its Online Gaming 2013 report, revealing 72 percent of gamers in the United States play online. This is an increase of 5 percent over 2012.

The report also found an increase in the number of hours spent playing games across devices surveyed, which led to an overall increase in the number of hours played per week, up 9 percent for gaming overall and up 6 percent for online gaming.

"Besides the size of the gaming audience and sales performance, one of the key metrics for the industry to watch is the time gamers spend playing games," said NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan in a statement. "This study found that the overall amount of time spent gaming, and time spent gaming online increased across virtually every type of device, and notably so, versus 2012."

The PC ranks as the top platform for online gaming, with 68 percent of US gamers saying they play online through their computers. This figure is down 4 percent year-over-year. Online gaming through mobile devices, however, is growing. The study found mobile devices saw a 12 percent increase in online gaming year-over-year.

In terms of buying behavior, it would seem logical that online gamers would prefer digital content over physical content, but this was not the case, according to the report. Asked if players would prefer purchasing a game in physical format or digital format, where pricing and availability were consistent, 62 percent chose the physical format.

"While many gamers prefer games in the physical format, the increased availability of digital content paired with a greater amount of connected devices has driven an increase in the number of consumers going online to access the content they want," Callahan said.

The Online Gaming 2013 report was conducted through an online survey fielded from February 15 through March 4. The survey was completed by 8,867 individuals ages 2 and older.

Online gaming has been a focal point of discussion for next-generation consoles. Both the PlayStation 4 and next Xbox are believed to be Internet-focused, while Microsoft's platform is rumored to require an Internet connection to function at all.

Separately, Nintendo announced last week that 80 percent of all Wii Us worldwide are connected to the Internet.

Discussion

171 comments
June-GS
June-GS

"The survey was completed by 8,867 individuals AGES TWO and older." -- LOLWuuut.

bluefox755
bluefox755

It's about principle.  I don't care if I'm always connected, I won't buy something that FORCES me to be connected.  Why?  Because it helps them, and doesn't do a thing for me.  It's not customer focused.  Any company that sets restrictions on or forces me to do anything with the product I buy, automatically loses me as a customer.  It's all about choice, when you take choice out of the equation, you alienate people.  If there was an offline mode to play games, I wouldn't have a problem with this.

SC-Genjisamurai
SC-Genjisamurai

When my internet goes out everything that requires it becomes useless in my house but my gaming console. NO ALWAYS ONLINE!

bj91x
bj91x

Game companies, don't misunderstand this as saying gamers won't be affected by an always online system. Although I am almost always online, percentage wise, I spend enough actual hours offline that an always online connection will seriously annoy me. And just because I'm connected, it doesn't mean that the majority of my gaming time is spent playing online.

An always online connection will have enough consequences that I have absolutely no plans to buy the next Xbox. Why buy a system that forces me to be online for single player games, versus one that does not? I have enough experience with always online games to know this is not the path for me.

UrbanTracker
UrbanTracker

pc gamers are pirates they said,

pc  top online platform they never said.

Trickymaster
Trickymaster

Who cares? More than 98% of American households have a TV. Does that mean I watch TV 24/7? No. Then why always online?

steelmouth
steelmouth

and you idiots think MS didnt think this always online thing through

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

They play online but when it comes to multiplayer not when it's Single Player .

 Oops how foolish of me , yeah yeah I get it , people are ready for always online gaming . Yeaaaaah riiiiiiight . xbox 720 rocks . IDIOTS .

tionmedon
tionmedon

show me a 2 yr old that can do a survey?...........

duffc25
duffc25

The question of interest is whether this survey distinguishes someone actually playing online or watching something like netflix counting them as playing online?

powerati1
powerati1

I don't get why they do these surveys. Yes, I play online all the time, that doesn't mean I play the games X company wants me to play. I use to play multiplayer fps's, now I rarely do if at all. I also spend far more time playing singleplayer than multiplayer. I've logged over 200 hours on DAO, DA2, ME3, Skyrim, and Oblivion each and out of all of them only ME3 has multiplayer, which only has maybe 100 hours at most, and thats probably a generous estimite.

addicteddrug
addicteddrug

During the nineties I yearned for online gaming. It was a dream come true when it finally was possible to play online and compete for the glory. 

I don't always lose. But when I do, I lose my temper and turn into a raging lunatic.

jsmoke03
jsmoke03

if i can avoid digital dl i would. im running low on space in hdd. if they want digital dl to increase, they have to start giving minimum 500 gigs.....tb is possible

finalkain
finalkain

Yes yes people play online ffs, Nobody wants a fucking umbilical cord to it.

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

What I want to know is, how do they know what gamers are playing online, and which ones aren't. I mean does having an online account count as playing online? Is this survey just speculation? I haven't played online for like 3 years, I used to be an online gamer, but I've always been an offline gamer. I prefer offline. but online is a nice thing to have. I never had anyone ask me this though. Where does this information come from?

Crush_Project
Crush_Project

gaming online was always our dream back in the dial up days.

Its so sad that i could care less these days due to a horrific game market, and a dumbed down community barely able to type their own names half the time.  Most of the 'additional online content' comes in the form of dlc's which are mostly just adding undeserved over powered and unbalanced items and very little new actual content.

gaming online has always had so much potential, but its a wreck at this point.

LoganWesker
LoganWesker

1st game i ever played online was nfk2k1 for the dreamcast

then xbc for halo 1

then finally, xbox live for halo 2 in 2004 and have been on ever since. 

kinda hard to believe halo 2 came out only 1 year prior to xbox 360



acelogan1989
acelogan1989

NPD: 72 percent of US gamers forced to play online

petch117
petch117

Microsoft better hope that jumps to 100% by fall lol

Poinciana
Poinciana

I bet you that this survey was conducted online, only on FPS games, lol.

codeman101360
codeman101360

There are 3 kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics.

Oh, and screw Microsoft.

deadpen
deadpen

I keep all my systems online all the time, but if the internet happens to go out I can still play them. The problem is I have been living on my own for 15 years, xbox is not my mom and ps is not my dad, do not tell me when I can and can not play. I have very little play time since I have 2 kids, 50 hr plus job, a house to take care of, a wife to "take care of", and if I have 20 mins to play but the internet is out then piss, I guess I'll just have my joystick in my hand playing with myself.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

This just in, after conducting a phone survey, found that 90% of people surveyed use a phone (Don't ask me what that 10% are doing)...

IndiePrower
IndiePrower

Force people to play online

Get statisctics

BAM, there's your facts

Sorciere_basic
Sorciere_basic

There are limitless variables to define who plays online or not. These statistics mean next to nothing.

Necro_Fear89
Necro_Fear89

Yeah, I bet most of those people that play online also love to play their games offline. And I prefer physical copies of a game, guess why? Because it's mine. If I want to break it, I can, if I want to read the box, I can, if I want to let a friend borrow it, I can. If I want to take it out and play it 10 years down the road, I can. A digital copy has to adhere to limitations placed on it, a physical copy does not. Also, there is was a survey done to see if you are an idiot, any truth to that?

DreamsofGreen
DreamsofGreen

Yea the source states "An online survey was fielded"

Sooooo i guess most the people that completed this online survey prefer to play the pc they were probably already on, that is amazing. But i got one better. This just in! Sony just released a survey from its users stating that most people are more satisfied with having a PS3 rather than an Xbox.

dussan2
dussan2

Watch  Spreadsheet Monkeys dive all over this fucking report.. 

Question 1: Do you play online games?
you answer yes and they lump you in another box.  But did they define the online games in question?  Some would consider Call of DUty an online game.

Next, it's aONLINE POLL.  Goddamn this just makes me want to punch somone in the face.  

I play games.  online, offline.  I buy, I rent, I borrow.  I play on all gaming consoles except for Nintendo shit, cause I'm an adult, and I play on a PC.  I play all genre's and will only base my purchases on review scores if I am on the fence about getting the game anyway.  An example is Star Trek game.  I never wanted to touch that piece of trash when I saw it, abut if the reviews had been good I would have rented.  But I bought Prototype 2, and other low scoring games because I wanted to play them for myself.  

I really hate how this industry is controlled by a handful of fucking idiots who don't know shit about games, unless it comes number on a goddamn spreadsheet.  Hollywood at least is controlled by people that love movies.  Same with music industry.  

santinegrete
santinegrete

I sync my thropies from PS3 from time to time, fuck the rest of console online gaming. Only Dark Souls, Demons Souls, and some Gears are worthy online experineces in console for my eyes, again, they are so different and help to improve the campaign component instead of disregarding it.

thekazumalord
thekazumalord

Huh.. that kind of put's me in the 28% of games who don't play online.. i do occasional play DC Universe online ,but not very often( last time was a month ago I think)... I'm also a strict console gamer, no PC games or mobile game for me thank you.

IndremaLover
IndremaLover

"The Online Gaming 2013 report was conducted through an ONLINE survey"

.... they can't really be this stoopid.  

So their survey population only included people replying ONLINE.  Since this immediately excludes anyone without access to reply ONLINE,  ya think this might skew things just a bit?

Hurvl
Hurvl

"The PC ranks as the top platform for online gaming" At least the PC ranks as the top platform in one perspective. Okay, I'm gonna stop sulking now, but I actually don't care about playing online, I'm a singleplayer only gamer, so I don't care about this. Okay, now I'm really gonna stop sulking, because my backlog is so extensive that I haven't begun to play many praised singleplayer-only games yet. Morrowind, Bioshock 1 and Mass Effect 1 - here I come.

NTM23
NTM23

This news is pointless, it says absolutely nothing when talking about should we adopt the always online requirement or not. The answer to that is no, not for an entire console, and not for a game. If the online goes off, it should be just as it is with current consoles.

soulless4now
soulless4now

"The survey was completed by 8,867 individuals ages 2 and older." 

That's some age range....lol The two year olds must've used tablets to complete their surveys since they're still developing motor skills.  

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

I Stopped playing online pretty much entirely on console, only do it on PC or with my friends on console. The multiplayer is just shit on console. Not the gameplay itself but the process of playing multiplayer - with the combination of arbitrayr pointless freeze time in BF or CoD or other multiplayer shooter matches, the god awful UI (think RE6 MP where it takes 10 seconds + to load the game then you don't even get into a game or get denied, then have to do it all over again), there's basically no point.

I play online to have fun, not waste my fucking time. EA and others clearly do not respect this.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@steelmouth If they think statistics like this support the idea then they(and you) are idiots. Connecting to the internet at some point in time and always being online are two different things...

steelmouth
steelmouth

@Cloud_imperium plenty researches have shown most people never complete single player, they just jump to muiltiplayer, so only 30% that would be me you and GS members bother with single player 

OMGUPOS
OMGUPOS

@Poinciana yeah, because if it was conducted online, only 72% of those surveyed online would have been online to answer...I bet you just had a brain kerfuffle.

charlieholmes
charlieholmes

Me too! I don't see much if any value in MP games. There's no substance in it to me. I read books for the story, same for movies, and play games for the story. MP gets me about 10% of the time but maybe even less as of late since MP has become stale to me. But, that's just me! As I grow older I'm going further away from MP since they all seem to be a chaotic, shallow, crack fix that I have to rehab away from after a couple hours of play. Maybe they're just for the young gamer. IDK

malokevi
malokevi

@thekazumalord What do you play offline on console?

I have't come across a really good single player for a long time. Last was Farcry3, which was one hell of an exception.

And Red Dead, and Skyrim for a while.

thekazumalord
thekazumalord

@malokevi @thekazumalord I'm really more of a gamer who likes to play alone ,so i guess i don't really have the urge to play online games.. The recent single player games I've played through are Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja: Storm 3, Saints Row the Third,Metal Gear Rising: Revengence and Dragon Age 2 ..those are all good single player games.. at least in my opinion.. I'm getting the New Tomb Raider in a few days as well.. 

thekazumalord
thekazumalord

@malokevi @roman4545 I know it wasn't a heated argument your after and neither am i,.. i hope i didn't word my reply in a way that made you think so... I only have Bioshock 2 and while i like it, I keep getting distracted with other games and putting off finishing it.. i will finish it someday though.. then i'll get Infinite. hopefully.. Adam Sessler recommended Bioshock Infinite after all, and if you can't trust the Sess who can you trust, lol

malokevi
malokevi

@roman4545 @malokevi Playing Battlefield, Halo, and COD. And Worms Armageddon with my pals :D

Lol i was asking out of curiosity, not to get into a heated argument. I genuinely don't know about the good Single Player games!

Good suggestions though. I think Deus Ex would be my favourite, I'll probably get a used copy.

Too soon for me to be playing Infinite. Plus, I never could really get into the first 2 Bioshocks. Too narrow for my liking.

Thats always my issue with SP games, which is why I typically go for the open world games. That, or Tom Clancy games, which I'm a sucker for.

thekazumalord
thekazumalord

@roman4545 @malokevi I have Deus Ex" Human Revolution  i just haven't played it in a while.. as for the other games.. i didn't like the demos of Dead Space 1,2 or 3 so i'm not getting those games.. Injsutice seems like Mortal Kombat with Dc Super Heroes skins.. i'm not the biggest fighting game fan either.. unless you count Persona 4 Arena.. that was fun cause it had fighting and a great single player story...DMC and Bioshock Infinite? i'll definitely  pick them up soon as possible.. but  i'm not wealthy gamer and i wasn't even able to get a PS3 till 2010 so i'm a bit behind and i can't go buy every game as soon as it comes out, i usually have to wait till the price goes down.

roman4545
roman4545

@malokevi

It seems you missing alot.. i mean really what were you being doing lately ?

Infinite, Injustice, DMC, Dead Space 3, Tomb raider, not to mention dont you have a backlog ? deus ex, just cause 2, saints row heck there is alot more to do bud