GTA 5 helps games industry sales increase 17 percent

Findings from research group show $3.45 billion spent on game content in the U.S. in July-September quarter that included record-breaking release of GTA 5.

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The United States video game industry enjoyed a strong July-September quarter, which included the record-breaking Grand Theft Auto V, new data from the NPD Group released today shows.

According to the firm's Q3 2013 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report, industry sales rose to $3.45 billion in the quarter, up 17 percent year-over-year. The gain was the biggest since the second quarter of 2011, the company said.

The $3.45 billion figure includes $1.3 billion for new physical software, as well as $1.72 billion for digital and DLC sales, and $346 million for used games and rentals. More specifically, digital full-games and DLC sales grew 35 percent year-over-year.

Though the new physical games, digital games, and DLC categories were significant drivers of increased revenue for the quarter, all other segments saw gains, except for social networks, which continued to slip, the NPD said.

Looking ahead, NPD analyst Liam Callahan said the PS4 and Xbox One should "continue to fuel consumer excitement and spending for games" leading up to the holiday shopping season. The PS4 was released last week, while the Xbox One goes on sale in a matter of hours.

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