The NPD Group: Fourth Quarter 2020 U.S. Consumer Spending on Video Game Products Increased 26% While Annual Spend Gained 27% Compared to 2019

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Every Quarter in the U.S. Experienced Record-Breaking Sales Results in 2020

Growth across almost all gaming segments drove the market to record spending in both the fourth quarter and the year.

According to the Q4 2020 Games Market Dynamics: U.S.* report from The NPD Group, overall total consumer spending on video gaming in the U.S. continued to break records, reaching $18.6 billion in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020 (October – December), an increase of 26% compared to Q4 2019. Full-year U.S. games industry consumer spend across all categories reached $57 billion, a 27% increase versus 2019.

Significant Q4 and annual 2020 gains were seen across digital console and PC content, mobile and subscription spending, as well as across hardware and accessories categories.

Content spending in Q4 reached $14.5 billion, an increase of 23%, while annual spending on content topped $49 billion, a 26% increase versus 2019. Hardware and accessories also experienced double-digit percentage gains for the quarter and year, increasing 47% and 15%, respectively, in Q4, and 35% and 22%, respectively, for the year.

Among the best-selling and most played games in the fourth quarter were Among Us, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Candy Crush Saga, Cyberpunk 2077, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft, NBA 2K21, and Pokémon Go.

“Growth across almost all gaming segments drove the market to record spending in both the fourth quarter and the year,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Video game content growth was led by mobile, both the biggest and fastest growing segment, while console, PC and other segments such as cloud gaming also experienced significant increases.”

Methodology: Games Market Dynamics: U.S. provides a comprehensive measure of the consumer spend on video games in the U.S. including purchases of video games hardware, software and accessories as well as on PC games. It is released on a quarterly basis and provides insight and trending into the broader consumer spend on the industry including physical format sales such as new and used physical retail sales as well as game rentals, and digital format sales including full game digital downloads and downloadable content (DLC), spending on subscriptions and mobile gaming. This assessment of the broader consumer spend on the industry utilizes NPD’s monthly POS tracking services as well as consumer data from other NPD trackers, monitors, and reports.

*Accessory sales exclude game cards

About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD offers data, industry expertise, and prescriptive analytics to help our clients grow their businesses in a changing world. Over 2,000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, and B2B. We have services in 19 countries worldwide, with operations spanning the Americas, Europe, and APAC. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, B2B technology, consumer technology, e-commerce, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, home improvement, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, and video games. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

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