Digital game revenues 47% more than physical, says NPD

Industry-tracking group says US spent $1.47 billion on downloadable, mobile, social, and subscription games for the April-June quarter, compared to just $1 billion in boxed retail games.

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The traditional packaged goods gaming business has taken a beating this year, but the online part of the industry is growing nicely, according to the industry-tracking NPD Group.

It stands for No Problemo Digital.
It stands for No Problemo Digital.

The research firm today released its quarterly update on the US games market, saying that from April through June, digital revenues for games (full titles, downloadable content, subscription fees, mobile, and social sales) hit $1.47 billion, up 17 percent year-over-year. That's considerably more than the packaged retail goods business, which the NPD Group put at $1 billion for the year, with an extra $386 million in revenue if one counts used game sales and rental revenues.

NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier noted the digital sector's performance in a statement, but added that it wasn't enough to offset declines in the sales of new games and systems. By the firm's reckoning, the US gaming industry as a whole was down 16 percent for the quarter.

According to the NPD Group's findings, US retail sales have been down year-over-year by double digits every month for the first half of 2012. That trend looks to continue as the firm is expected to report its July sales numbers this Thursday, with Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia expecting the numbers to be down 15 to 20 percent.

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