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NPD: Canadian Impulse Buys, Used Game Sales Thrive

Despite declines in the U.S. game industry's monthly revenues, NPD says impulse buys are on the rise in Canada as gamers seek out low-cost options like used games to fuel their hobby on a budget.
Despite the declines seen in the U.S. game industry's monthly revenue figures, NPD says impulse buys of video games are on the rise in Canada, as gamers seek out lower-cost options like used games to fuel their hobby on a budget. As part of a new study, The Canadian Video Game Purchase Process, NPD found that 40 percent of Canadian gamers have made an impulse purchase of a video game in the last six months, and that group strongly pointed to price as the single biggest factor in where they bought their games. And among the overall sample of 2,429 gamers, only 3 percent of purchases were preordered. Impulse buyers spent only about two-thirds what planned purchasers did on their games -- CA$27.19 versus CA$42.97 -- and 43 percent of the entire sample group spent only CA$10 to CA$20. Of the overall group, a third had bought a used game in the past six months, and 90 percent said they were willing to buy used games. Among impulse buyers, game packaging is the most significant factor in choosing a particular game, which goes hand in hand with how most impulse buys are made: 85 percent of impulse buyers made their purchases in brick-and-mortar stores rather than online. Interestingly, females are more highly represented amongst impulse buyers than planned buyers, making up 46 percent of the former but only 37 percent of the latter. NPD claims that, among the Canadian gamer population as a whole, the gender split is roughly equal.

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