The total number of people playing video games in the U.S. declined 5% this year despite a dramatic surge in the popularity of games on smartphones and tablets.
In an annual survey conducted in March by the NPD Group, the U.S. had 211.5 million gamers, down from about 223 million in 2011. The hardest hit category was players of family or children's games, NPD analyst Anita Frazier said. That was followed by declines in the number of people who played "hard-core" games such as the "Call of Duty" franchise.
Meanwhile, players of mobile games such as "Angry Birds" grew 22% in 2012 from 2011, while players of digitally distributed games such as "Minecraft" jumped 16%.
Mobile gamers this year represent the largest gamer segment, outnumbering players of core games, which was the largest segment in 2011.