The 'Q1 2012 Games Market Dynamics: U.S.' report reveals that while spend on new physical software was on the decline versus last year – with Q1 2012 achieving an estimated $1.5 billion spent on new video and PC game software tracked by the NPD Group – total spend on other forms of physical software, such as used games and rentals, only saw a minimal drop.
"The declines in the physical market for new physical software are well documented," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said, noting that "broader view of the industry" showed other forms of physical spend, specifically the used game and rental market, "declined by just five percent and digital format content sales grew by 10 percent as compared to Q1 2011." The one-two punch of used games and rentals reached an estimated $525 million in Q1 2012, the report says.
"While the growth in digital format sales does not yet offset the declines in physical format sales, clearly the changes occurring within the industry are reflected in the trends we are seeing in the research," Frazier added.
VIDEO GAME CONTENT IN THE U.S. FOR FIRST QUARTER 2012
PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, July 2, 2012 – According to the Q1 2012 Games Market Dynamics: U.S.* report from leading market research company, The NPD Group, in addition to the $1.5 billion spent in the U.S. by consumers on new physical video and PC game software in the first quarter of 2012, the total consumer spend on other physical forms of content (used and rental) reached $525 million, and content in digital format (full game and add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games) generated $1.38 billion.
"The declines in the physical market for new physical software are well documented," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "But, a broader view of the games industry shows that other physical content sales (the combination of used and rental) declined by just five percent and digital format content sales grew by 10 percent as compared to Q1 2011. While the growth in digital format sales does not yet offset the declines in physical format sales, clearly the changes occurring within the industry are reflected in the trends we are seeing in the research."
Comparison to Europe
Similar research in the UK, France and Germany shows that the consumer spend on other forms of physical games content outside of new physical retail sales totaled $300 million (used and rental) while digital format sales in those three countries (full game and add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games) generated an additional $959 million in sales during Q1 2012.
"Relative to the spend in the U.S., we find that the consumer spend on mobile games is still developing in the three European countries we are covering, while the spend on full game and add-on content digital downloads and subscriptions is more highly developed," said Frazier.
The estimates are published in NPD's report, Games Market Dynamics: U.S. (formerly known as the Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend) –released by The NPD Group in June 2012 - and are derived leveraging NPD's portfolio of physical POS tracking (Retail Tracking Service) and consumer research including the Games Acquisition Monitor, Video Game and PC Game Subscriptions Report and Consumer Tracking Service. It also incorporates consumer spend estimation provided by NPD retail and publisher partners, and calibration with third-party sources. Estimates for the three European countries are published in NPD's report, Games Market Dynamics: Europe, which utilizes like methodology to the U.S. service across the areas of consumer spend that are outside of new physical retail sales.
*The NPD Group has enhanced its Games Market Dynamics information in conjunction with retail and publishing partners, and third-party sources to allow for improved visibility into alternative channels. Due to these periodic updates, care should be taken when comparing any data in this press release to prior Games Market Dynamics press releases.
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