Though US gamers are spending a lot more time at play, Newzoo claims they aren't spending as much cash as you'd think.
Market researcher Newzoo has posted data on the games industry in the US and elsewhere and it claims that in 2012 there has been 1% growth in the number of players in the US, kicking the market up to $21.9 billion in sales.
"Of the 157 million US gamers," Newzoo claims, "86 million spend money on games." Or about 55% of the total, which means that although the number of people playing - and devices they're playing on - has gone up substantially, the amount spent per customer has remained broadly the same as before.
Time spent on games has gone up by 26% in the US, and 33% more players spend money on games than before. But the thing to bear in mind is, although the PC still ranks as top dog overall, there are more ways to play these days, and the real uptick has been in mobile device gaming. These are the players who make up a good chunk of that that 26%, and not all of them splash out on DLC, or spend money on the freemium titles they download.
Newzoo CEO Peter Warman considers this a cause for optimism. "The best news this year is that 24 million Americans are spending money on games for the first time," he said. "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," Warman added.
Newzoo is a Netherlands-based marketing research firm focused entirely on the gaming industry. It analyzes data for app sales, MMO market trends, and country specific market data, among other fields.