Analyst Liam Callahan attributes the growth to the release of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto 5, which shipped a total of 29 million copies to retail as of last month. Americans spent $1.30 billion on brand-new, boxed retail games over the past quarter.
"Trends during the third quarter were the best that we have observed since the second quarter of 2011, driven by growth across both the physical and digital sides of the video game industry," said Callahan. "The launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 helped propel the new physical sales by twenty percent and continued growth of console digital full games as well as downloadable add-on content is an indication of the renewed health of the industry."
NPD added that digital game and downloadable content spending grew by 35 percent year-on-year, totaling $1.72 billion in Q3 2013. Used and rental sales reached $436 million over the last quarter.
New Physical Games, Digital Full Games and Downloadable Content on Consoles and PCs had the highest growth rates, driving the largest Industry growth since Q2 2011
PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, November 21, 2013 – According to the Q3 2013 Games Market Dynamics: U.S.* report from global information company, The NPD Group, in addition to the $1.30 billion spent in the U.S. by consumers on new physical video and PC game software during the third quarter (July - September) of 2013 (Q3'13), the total consumer spend on other physical forms of content (used and rental) reached $436 million, and content in digital format (full game and add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games) generated $1.72 billion.
The third quarter of 2013 experienced double-digit growth in content spending, stemming from a 20 percent increase in spending for new physical games coupled with a 35 percent growth in digital full games and downloadable content (DLC). These two acquisition types combined to create a total of close to $1.98 billion in consumer content spending versus $1.59 billion generated in Q3'12. Total content spending experienced an increase of 17 percent.
While new physical games, digital full games, and DLC were major drivers of the volume of this quarter's increase, all other areas of content spending also increased with the exception of social network gaming which continued to decline.
"Trends during the third quarter were the best that we have observed since the second quarter of 2011, driven by growth across both the physical and digital sides of the video game industry," said Liam Callahan, industry analyst. "The launch of Grand Theft Auto V helped propel the new physical sales by twenty percent and continued growth of console digital full games as well as downloadable add-on content is an indication of the renewed health of the industry. We expect that the launches of Microsoft's Xbox One and the Sony PS4 will continue to fuel consumer excitement and spending for games heading into the holiday season."
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 November 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.