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 Study: A third of US customers would rather buy games digitally

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PostSubject: Study: A third of US customers would rather buy games digitally   Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:35 am

One in three games enthusiasts would rather buy their games online than purchase at retail, new data suggests.

As part of a survey into the shopping habits of about 8,500 gamers, analytics firm NPD found that 35 per cent claimed they would rather purchase content digitally.

The majority (65%) still would rather purchase at retail, yet support for digital had climbed by ten per cent since NPD's survey last year, the analyst firm said.

"Gamers are growing more comfortable in acquiring content online, as we saw the preference for digital increase ten percentage points from last year," said NPD analyst Liam Callahan.

"The proliferation of free games on mobile devices has reduced the barrier of entry for online gaming to zero, fuelling an increase in acquisition."

Many divisions within the games sector are rapidly responding to the increasing popularity of digital distribution. Digital editions of PC and PS Vita games are often available on launch day, while many publishers launch downloadable add-ons within a week of launching their biggest titles.

Smartphones too are helping shift the consumer conscience. Google and Apple both operate multi-billion dollar app industries solely on digital platforms.

The NPD survey found that about 40 per cent of customers purchased at least one game in both the physical and digital formats over the past twelve months.
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