NPD breaks PC players into three groups, Heavy Core, Light Core and Casual. Heavy Core players play "core" games – action / adventure, fighting, flight, MMO, racing, RTS, RPG, shooter, or sport games – for more than five hours per week. Light Core players play those games, but for fewer than five hours per week, while Casual players enjoy non-core games. Heavy Core players make up 20 percent of the entire group, Light Core players are 24 percent, and Casual players compose 56 percent.
Heavy Core is the smallest segment, though players spend "a significantly higher number of hours gaming in an average week," NPD says. Over the past three months, Heavy Core players spent roughly twice as much money as Casual players on physical and digital PC games.
PC players are split fairly evenly along gender lines, with 51 percent men and 49 percent women. However, the Casual segment is "overwhelmingly female," while Heavy Core and Light Core players tend to be men, NPD says.