2009 wasn't a particularly banner year for the US game industry in terms of total revenue. According to the NPD Group, total dollars spent at retail on new hardware, software, and accessories amounted to $19.66 billion, a healthy number but well short of 2008's $21.4 billion spend.
Of that tally, NPD stats indicated that $10.5 billion came from software sales. However, considering that the NPD group only tracks new software sales at retail and not alternative forms of revenue, such as used games, subscriptions, or downloadable content, that figure could be seen as slightly misleading.
Today, though, NPD released a more comprehensive accounting of 2009 software sales. Taking into account used games, rentals, subscriptions, digital full game downloads, downloadable content, and mobile game apps, NPD revised its $10.5 billion figure upward by $4.5 billion to $4.75 billion for 2009. As such, the industry-tracking group now believes total software sales for the year came in at $15.0 billion to $15.25 billion.
"Our expanded estimate of consumer spending reflects the growing number of options to purchase, acquire and interact with video games ranging from GameFly rentals to iPod Touch game apps," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "Consumer spending on social network games like those offered by Facebook would push this estimate even higher." NPD noted that the revised figures factor in "all channels and media except for social network gaming."
NPD gathered its date through a variety of means, including point-of-sale tracking and industry research tools such as the Games Acquisition Monitor, Video Game & PC Game Subscriptions Tracker, and Consumer Purchase Tracker. It also uses sales estimates provided by retailers and publishers.