The NPD Group: U.S. Consumer Spend on Video Game Products Increased 1 Percent To $9.1 billion in 2019’s Third Quarter

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Year-to-date consumer spending has also increased by 1 percent, to $27.9 billion

“Thanks to growth in video game content spending across mobile and subscription services, the U.S. video game market has continued to grow, despite cyclical challenges and tough comparable sales from last year.”

According to the Q3 2019 Games Market Dynamics: U.S.* report from The NPD Group, overall total industry consumer spending on video gaming in the U.S. reached $9.18 billion in the third quarter of 2019 (July - Sept.), an increase of 1 percent compared to the same time period last year.

Double-digit percentage gains were seen across digital console content, mobile and subscription spending, with declines across hardware, accessories, physical console content and digital PC content offsetting much of the gains seen across the other segments. Year-to-date (Jan. – Sept.) consumer spending has also increased by 1 percent, to $27.9 billion.

Sales of video game content reached $8.1 billion in the third quarter, up 3 percent when compared to a year ago. Gains in mobile, subscription and digital console content sales drove the market higher. Year-to-date content spending also increased 3 percent, reaching $24.7 billion.

Games such as Borderlands 3, Candy Crush Saga, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Madden NFL 20, Minecraft, NBA 2K20, and Pokémon Go were among the best-performing titles of the third quarter.

“Thanks to growth in video game content spending across mobile and subscription services, the U.S. video game market has continued to grow, despite cyclical challenges and tough comparable sales from last year,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Growth in digital content spending on consoles has also been remarkable, driven by live service games that are building consistent engagement ties with consumers. These factors have allowed the industry to reach growth, despite challenges in other categories of spend.”

Strong growth in sales of Nintendo Switch hardware could not offset declines across other hardware platforms, leading the overall video game hardware market to fall 22 percent in the quarter, to $575 million. Year-to-date sales of video game hardware declined 23 percent to $1.9 billion.

Sales of video game accessories, including gamepads, headsets, cases and other peripherals fell 3 percent in the third quarter, to $390 million. Gains in gamepad and interactive gaming toy spending were offset by declines in other accessory types. Year-to-date spending on accessories also fell 3 percent to $1.3 billion. Despite the year-to-date decline, video game accessory spending has reached its third highest total in history, trailing only the first three quarter totals of 2008 and 2018.

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 2000 companies worldwide rely on us to help them measure, predict, and improve performance across all channels, including brick-and-mortar and e-commerce. We have offices in 27 cities 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, juvenile products, media entertainment, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, toys, travel retail, video games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit npd.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup @npd_entertain

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