"Increases in digital format spending offset nearly all the losses from the declines in physical format spending, with digital full game downloads and downloadable content spending experiencing a combined 27 percent increase (when compared to Q2'12)," said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. "Spending increases occurred across both video games and PC games in the digital format."
The importance of this detail has to do with digital distribution platform holders' tendency to not share their data, meaning many analysts base their industry projections off physical retail sales, which you can imagine in the video game industry leads to some very bad information. It's led to tension with publishers and industry lobbyists.
RESEARCH SHOWS $2.88 BILLION SPENT ON VIDEO GAME CONTENT IN THE U.S. DURING THE SECOND QUARTER OF 2013
Digital Spending Comes Close to Making up for
Declines in New Physical Spending
PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, September 5, 2013 – According to the 2013 Games Market Dynamics: U.S.* report from global information company, The NPD Group, in addition to the $769 million spent in the U.S. by consumers on new physical video and PC game software during the second quarter (April - June) of 2013 (Q2'13), the total consumer spend on other physical forms of content (used and rental) reached $343 million, and content in digital format (full game and add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games) generated $1.77 billion.
Total consumer content spend totaled $2.88 billion, representing a decline of 3 percent when compared to the $2.97 billion spent in Q2'12. When adding spending from accessories, hardware, and total content, spending decreased 9 percent, due almost entirely to hardware declines as consumers anticipate the new consoles set to launch this fall.
"The decrease in new physical spending is partly due to the decline in the number of new SKU's released at retail, (with 37% fewer new SKUs in Q2'13 compared to Q2'12) which is to be expected as developers, publishers and consumers alike prepare for the next hardware generation," said Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "Increases in digital format spending offset nearly all the losses from the declines in physical format spending, with digital full game downloads and downloadable content spending experiencing a combined 27 percent increase (when compared to Q2'12). Spending increases occurred across both video games and PC games in the digital format."
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 August 2013 - 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.
*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.
About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group provides global information and advisory services to drive better business decisions. By combining unique data assets with unmatched industry expertise, we help our clients track their markets, understand consumers, and drive profitable growth. Sectors covered include automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, entertainment, fashion, food / foodservice, home, luxury, mobile, office supplies, sports, technology, toys, and video games. For more information, visit www.npd.com and npdgroupblog.com. Follow us on Twitter: @npdtech and @npdgroup.