Americans spent $4.2 billion on games in Q3 - NPD

Tracking firm reports overall sales down 11 percent as consumer spend on nontraditional gaming beats new physical game sales from July through September.

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Gaming sales have been trending up recently, but the industry isn't far removed from the lean times, a fact that was hammered home today as the industry-tracking NPD Group released its sales figures for the July-September period. According to the market research firm's US Games Market Dynamics report, US consumers spent a total of $4.2 billion on games in the third quarter, down 11 percent year-over-year.

Numbers!
Numbers!

"New physical retail sales had a rough third quarter," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier in the report. "Increases in sales from some of these other monetization methods, and full game and add-on digital downloads in particular, only partially offset the decline seen in the new physical retail channel."

New sales of physical games totaled $1.3 billion for the quarter, with nontraditional gaming sources like used games, downloadable add-ons, subscriptions, and social game revenues combined to reach an estimated $1.64 billion. The remaining amount was accounted for by hardware and accessory sales.

The NPD Group wouldn't say if sales are improving, but Frazier did tease the company's next quarterly report (due in March), saying, "We are already seeing some dynamic changes in the marketplace in Q4." That report will also include the NPD Group's expansion into covering game sales in the UK, France, and Germany.

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

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