New physical games earned $6.34 billion throughout 2013, and used game sales and rentals accounted for $1.83 billion. Full game downloads, add-on content, subscriptions, mobile and social network games generated the most cash last year, accounting for $7.22 billion of total video game sales, and compared to 2012's earnings, total video game sales saw a 1 percent increase in 2013. Hardware sales were boosted by the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One this past November, both of which helped hardware sales post a five percent increase year-over-year.
The NPD report concludes that 36 percent of players over the age of 13 played games acquired digitally, showing a rising prominence in digital-acquired games amongst all segments of players.
PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, February 11, 2014 – According to the 2013 Games Market Dynamics: U.S.* report from global information company The NPD Group, in addition to the $6.34 billion spent in the U.S. by consumers on new physical video and PC game software during 2013, the total consumer spend on other physical forms of content (used and rental) reached $1.83 billion, and content in digital format (full game and add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games) generated $7.22 billion.
Particularly strong growth for full-game downloads and downloadable content on consoles, PCs and portable devices, along with growth in mobile games, were more than enough to offset an 11 percent decline in new physical sales, leading to a 1 percent annual growth for total content spending.
"Growth in digitally distributed content is vital to overall industry health," said Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "Since this is such a topic of high interest to the industry, we recently conducted additional in-depth research into consumer behavior with regard to digital content acquisition, and found that 36 percent of the U.S. population ages 13 and older was playing games acquired digitally, with incidence highest among teens and young adults. Interestingly, however, there is no particular point after age 25 where incidence declines significantly.1"
Content wasn't the video game industry's only success story in 2013. The strong performance of hardware seen in the fourth quarter led to a positive year for the category, which ended the year 5 percent higher than 2012. Content growth, coupled with hardware growth led to a 2 percent increase in overall consumer spending over 2012.
"The bottom line is that the overall games market is growing," said Callahan. "NPD reported declines in content and hardware spending in both 2011 and 2012, so the growth in 2013 is a positive indicator for future market growth as we enter the first full year with all three new consoles on the market."
The estimates are published in NPD's report, Games Market Dynamics: U.S. – released by The NPD Group in February 2014 - 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.
1Source: The NPD Group / Exploring Digital Gaming
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.