Video Game Sales See Huge Increase During First Half Of 2018 In US

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Total consumer spending on video games in the U.S. has reached almost $20 billion for the first half of the year, according to a report from tracking firm NPD. This marks a 40% increase over the same period last year. The analytics report noted that all categories increased, but mobile games experienced the most growth of any individual category.

Content sales made up $16.9 billion of the $19.5 billion figure. That includes full game sales, DLC and microtransactions, and subscriptions. The handful of games that made the most impact were (alphabetically) Candy Crush, Far Cry 5, Fortnite, God of War, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and Roblox. Notably three of those top earners are free-to-play games, showing how much impact the pricing model can have.

In addition, spending on hardware hit a 7-year high, reaching $1.7 billion in the first half of the year. NPD attributes this to strong sales of Xbox One and standalone plug-and-play devices like Nintendo's Super NES Classic Edition. Accessories also increased 41% year-over-year during the period.

We had caught wind of strong sales for both God of War and Far Cry 5, so it's no surprise to see both of them making an impact. Fortnite is still a massive success and likely drove a significant cut of those content sales. And while casual mobile games like Candy Crush and Roblox get less fanfare from the core gaming audience, they're still huge profit drivers for their respective companies.

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