NPD: $14.08 billion spent in US on games in 2012

Research group's new study finds gamers in US spent 9 percent less than in 2011; digital up 16 percent to $5.92 billion.

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Gamers in the United States spent a total of $14.08 billion (down 9 percent from $16.34 billion) on games in 2012, according to a new report from the NPD Group. The research firm published its 2012 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. study today, breaking down consumer behavior in the region.

According to the study, US gamers spent $8.88 billion on total physical software (new, used, and rental) in 2012, down 21 percent from last year's $11.25 billion. Digital spend (full-game and add-on content, subscriptions, mobile games, and social network games) for the year totaled $5.92 billion, an increase of 16 percent from last year's $5.09 billion.

"When including all other forms of content spending outside of new physical games, the 2012 U.S. games market was more than twice as large as the total spending on new physical games alone," NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. "There were divergent trends when looking at content spending in 2012 as a whole, with a decrease of 21 percent in spending on physical content while digital content spending grew 16 percent; both formats combined for a total decline of 9 percent for the year."

The NPD's findings are based on retail tracking services and other forms of consumer research. It also includes estimations derived from NPD retail and publishing partners, as well as "calibration" with third-party sources.

Discussion

44 comments
nurnberg
nurnberg

So the downward trend is continuing...  It's no wonder that so many gaming companies close.

xjgunsx
xjgunsx

maybe because a lot of people are playing F2P games on computer or mobile devices.

Lotus-Edge
Lotus-Edge

Now use that money to make something other than FPS's....

botsio
botsio

its all good for the industry!its growing thats for sure!

xaxaxa1
xaxaxa1

"When including all other forms of content spending outside of new physical games, the 2012 U.S. games market was more than twice as large as the total spending on new physical games alone,"

what the heck does it mean?

chubbyfresh
chubbyfresh

well, i hear the gaming industry has been doing better than hollywood for some time now

wexorian
wexorian

Such big income for USA economy, Just interested what Politicans will say about this.

tightwad34
tightwad34

I'd say 14+billion is pretty damn good. The industry is fine, just fine. Video games are more popular than ever and they aren't going away, well ever. Or until the apocalypse. Sadly, losing vids is the part I dred most about the apocalypse, and oh yeah worrying about family.

M-S-M-S
M-S-M-S

"The NPD's findings are based on retail tracking services and other forms of consumer research. It also includes estimations derived from NPD retail and publishing partners, as well as "calibration" with third-party sources. "

In short, not accurate data. No digital sales, dependent on "collaboration" and good will of others...

Meta-Gnostic
Meta-Gnostic

The gaming industry is doing very very well for this stage in the life cycle of Nintendo, Sony, and MS consoles. Compare this to a similar stage of GC, PS2, Xbox. Now with this known, next generation gaming will be a big success when you include non-traditional game sales from things like phones and tablets.

d_kell411
d_kell411

Maybe it's because 14% of us are unemployed and our economy is awful at the moment?

BloodyAura
BloodyAura

This really does'nt mean a hell of alot of beans considering not too many games came out in '12. Besides, smart people wait for the price to go down, or just buy used cause they're sick of/or can't afford $60(US) games,does'nt mean what the study implies; that people want all digital games-because the majority of gamers/consumers does'nt and NEVER will!

kiramasaki
kiramasaki

I don't see the problem. If games are selling 14 billion in the US alone, they are doing pretty dam well imo.

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

9% less bloodthirsty sales going to support the videogame terror campaign... Come on people! Get your bloodthirst on! How else are we supposed to reign down anarchy and hellfire for the politicians?!

ssj2los
ssj2los

Maybe because more and more games come without a wholly feeling due to every single publisher resorting to DLC and microtransactions. hopefully more and more gamers start voting with their wallets because that sh!t has got to go.

moeman636
moeman636

I am not positive, but there had to more games released in 2011 compared to 2012. It just seemed like 2012 had a drought of games. This is why Gamespot has talked way more about indie games than it has ever before.

Just saying...Less games means less spending on games in 2012.

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

Anyone know if NPD is finally counting Steam sales?  For a long time they totally missed that boat.  Counting digital must be really tough.  Steam plus now a dozen copycats like UPlay and Origin and all that nonsense.  GOG, Stardock, who knows what else.  And then you have to count DLC and add-on sales.  Console download content, subscription-based MMOs, social games...  I'm glad its someone's full time job.

top8cat
top8cat

How can they say it's on decline when a lot of  digital sales go uncounted, for all we know the missing sales could have simply gone digital

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

Money funds how politicians think.

Video games make more money than many other industries now.

Sabre-rattling about violent games will amount to nothing.

ArataWata
ArataWata

GUESS THAT MAKES US ALL MURDERERS.

I_am_in_despair
I_am_in_despair

Well, the year of 2011 is great year where many great video games appeared compared to the year of 2012, so the video industry is still fine and still expanding.

shingui5
shingui5

@nurnberg we are still in the tail end of a global recession, just sayin...

shingui5
shingui5

@xaxaxa1 it means, when you take into account everything (new games, dlc, expansions, digital downloads etc). That spending, is twice as large as what was spent on new games only.

GamerOuTLaWz
GamerOuTLaWz

@chubbyfresh why pay and sit in front of a movie,when you can have awesome-looking interactive movies or other genre of games which provides MUCH More entertaining and hours of entertaining for your money? Videogames are god-bless (scams and microtransactions put aside)

steelmouth
steelmouth

@wexorian this is an insignificant number when it comes to the US economy there are single companies that make more than this heck this like a quarter  of bill gates money and thats just one man

Saidrex
Saidrex

@wexorian HA! They already do, that shooting gave them excuse to do research on video game violence effect on people health, soon they will fake research results, declare that video games have harmfull effect on people health and make big tax on video games.

steelmouth
steelmouth

@tightwad34 the problem is not the amount  the problem  is the drop from last year's amount

Hurvl
Hurvl

@M-S-M-S Yeah, I'm uncertain about how accurate their predictions are when it comes to digital content. It would be a shame if anyone decided that video games aren't as profitable as before, just because of inaccurate numbers and made bad decisions based on that. There is no used games market/rental market for PC games (not in Sweden or any other place as far as I know) and thus there are less reasons for PC gamers to get physical games, rather than downloading it. Steam is the greatest service for digital PC content and they don't share sales data, so we have a blind spot there. EA's Origin has a very large user base as well and I assume that they share sales data, though, so NPD's digital numbers may risk being less inaccurate now than before Origin launched.

rtircoklled
rtircoklled

@moeman636 It would also explain why an indie games won GotY, even though I really do like it and definitely deserved it more than some of the other nominees

maxwell97
maxwell97

@TheCyborgNinja Maybe, but considering that the federal government spends more than this every two days, it's probably not a huge deal to them.

VeeArSick
VeeArSick

@I_am_in_despair I think the point here is that Digital Sales are increasing while Physical sales are decreasing. Which raises a soft spot in Gamers like me. Oh well, news is usually bad news, or at least that's true from where I'm from. So I don't TEND to pay attention to "targeted" subjects such as these.

You also raised a good point. Many more great games came out in 2011 compared to 2012.

Dahorsh
Dahorsh

@I_am_in_despair I'd flag your comment for ignorance if I could...Mr. Despair! Have at thee, thou foul being who shuns hard sexy statistics!

nurnberg
nurnberg

@shingui5 @nurnberg We are?  Personally, my income keeps increasing every year by a good amount so this recession never really affected me.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@shingui5 @xaxaxa1 That would mean that 33 % of spending was done on new physical games, while 66 % was spent on old physical games plus everything else that isn't new physical games. Physical games, not just new ones, seems to get smaller and smaller.

nurnberg
nurnberg

@TTDog @nurnberg Pocket money?  My dad is diceased and I have been living on my own for 12 years.  Nice try chump.

TTDog
TTDog

@nurnberg: Parents keep upping your pocket money do they?