NPD: US spends $5.9B on games in Q1

Research group estimates Americans spent $2.03 billion on physical software, $1.85B on "other monetization methods," remainder on hardware and accessories.

At the beginning of the year, the research firm NPD Group found that total 2010 software sales were flat. However, the group released a new Q1 2011 report today, estimating the complete consumer spend on games for the first three months of 2011 was not stagnant, but growing.

The NPD is looking to the past and updating its figures.

According to the report--Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend--the NPD believes total Q1 2011 consumer spend reached $5.9 billion in the United States, up 1.5 percent over last year's figure.

In addition to the $2.03 billion consumers spent on physical software in Q1 2011, the NPD said another $1.85 billion was spent on "other monetization methods." That category covers money spent on used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games.

Hardware and accessories spending made up the remaining difference, roughly $2.02 billion.

"While the new physical retail channel still generates the majority of industry sales, our expanded research coverage allows us to assess the total consumer spend across the growing number of ways to acquire and experience gaming, including mobile apps and downloadable content," said NPD's Anita Frazier.

The Total Consumer Spend report derived its figures from a combination of retail tracking, consumer studies, and spend predictions from retailers, and through "calibration with third-party sources."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

32 comments
funkdonkey
funkdonkey

@steelmouth - $6Bis not that impressive when talking about video games in comparison to other government spending. Your government spends/borrows more per month on the wars you are fighting every month. I am not rich, just informed!

funkdonkey
funkdonkey

@Nodashi - Compared to other industries like oil, tobacco, drugs, precious stones and LOTS of others, no, video games are not very profitable and no I was not kidding.

renji4eva
renji4eva

makes sense since the 3ds came out in march.

cachinscythe
cachinscythe

@hart704 Yeah, cause not being short on cash means you're totally raking in boatloads more. OH WAIT... If you spend $50 million to make a game and then at retail the game makes $51 million, you have effectively gained $1 million to spread among the hundreds of employees involved in getting the game made and to market. That doesn't sound like a huge leap does it? Consider all the factors before making blanket statements.

mtait01
mtait01

3DS, LA Noire, Portal 2, Crysis 2, Bulletstorm, Marvel vs Capcom 3, NFS Shift among other will do that lol Good year so far ;)

hart704
hart704

More proof that the gaming industry doesn't need online passes. They're NOT short on cash.

steelmouth
steelmouth

@funkdonkey u must be super rich if $6B in 3 months dont impress you @monson21502 u my dear are a x360 fanboy and i love it,so fanboy on

steelmouth
steelmouth

this such a dry report it doesnt say anything,give us some solid numbers who sold what? break those numbers down

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

I still don't like the fact that video games are the only form of media that consumers cannot look up sales numbers for (thanks NPD!). Why is it that I can see the weekend box office revenues of movies and the Billboard Top 100 CDs, but I can't find out how much each game has sold?

Jurassic85
Jurassic85

@AuronAXE Absolutely not. If someone buys a used game there is a chance that they will buy DLC, or one of those online passes that companies are requiring now. In contrast a pirated game has no chance of generating revenue for the company. Telling yourself that it is not a large problem is ridiculous, do you know that game companies take measures to insure that systems are not modded solely for this reason?

CarlitosWay
CarlitosWay

Dont know why you would give AuronAXE thumbs down for a legitimate point. You know how much more money the industry could be making if they still produced old school systems, instead of rehashing games onto the new systems? While thousands of games are pirated, take a look at the most popular downloaded games: Games that are no longer in circulation, for consoles no longer being sold in retail. So im a thief because i dont have a NES to play my Mario on?

monson21502
monson21502

thanks to the 360....thats in the top 5 of the best systems of all time:P

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

@Jurassic85 Stop kidding yourself, piracy isn't as large a problem as publishers and the media would want you to think. Piracy in itself still generates revenue, games still end up purchased as well as lots of hardware. Used game sales? Now thats a bigger problem for the industry.

burned1
burned1

yet more and more online passes in games = B$

jscapo
jscapo

I am not surprised. Are you?

Eliianar
Eliianar

People almost always spend money on their "hobbies". Video games included. Some play golf others play video games.

ANUBISZER0
ANUBISZER0

No matter how bad things get you can count on gamers to buy their games unless they pirate them that is.

Szczepanik
Szczepanik

spend predictions from retailers? Don't tell us what you predict but what actually was spent.

DeadrisingX1
DeadrisingX1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

tobbe4321
tobbe4321

Money in games industry no!! Move the other way! TT

Nodashi
Nodashi

@funkdonkey Not a lot of profit? Are you kiddin? Please be kiddin.

endorbr
endorbr

This article still manages to make this look like a bad thing some how. Any way you slice it that's a ridiculous amount of money that we spend on video games. Keep it up America.

funkdonkey
funkdonkey

The only reason government is interested in gaming is for its "Big-Brother" accessibility. There is not allot of profit in games, but there's HUGE profit in data collection on unsuspecting gamers though! That's PERSONAL DATA!

Jurassic85
Jurassic85

You know what is an even larger number than the ones in the article? The amount of money game companies COULD have made if piracy didn't exist.

Spacerac
Spacerac

Considering it costs some people the same price for a full tank as a game I wouldn't be surprised at spending being a little low. *stages anti-gas corp revolt*

Nodashi
Nodashi

Physical software is a REALLY bad way to describe it :P

Raeldor
Raeldor

I'd love to see a breakdown of the 'other monetization'. I wonder how quickly things will shift from physical software to downloads over the next few years. Game consoles with CD and DVD drives will eventually become a thing of the past.

CarlitosWay
CarlitosWay

Imagine the amount of money NOT payed by use of torrent downloads and Emulators... No, im not bashing, just merely stating a fact.

pokecharm
pokecharm

I think I may have spent more in the first quarter than I am now on gaming, does that count?

Bozanimal
Bozanimal

I wonder what percentage of that went to Steam. Damn you, Summer Camp Sale!

blackace
blackace

People are still spending a lot on games, even though the % of spending has dropped this year.