In brief: It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the latest report from marketing research company NPD Group, Games Market Dynamics: U.S., serves as a reminder of the enormous size of the video games industry. The report estimates a staggering $9.18 billion was spent by US-based consumers on gaming content, hardware and accessories during 2019’s third quarter (July to September).
In its press release, the NPD Group included a number of highlights from its latest report regarding consumer spending on video games in the US.
Industry segments including digital console content, mobile games and subscriptions saw a double-digit increase while sales of gaming hardware, accessories, physical console games, digital PC suffered a decline.
Overall, video game sales increased by 3 percent over the same quarter last year and reached $8.1 billion. Top performers for Q3 were Borderlands 3, Candy Crush Saga, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Madden NFL 20, Minecraft, NBA 2K20, and Pokémon Go.
According to NPD’s games industry analyst Mat Piscatella, “live service games” were mainly responsible for the increase in digital content spending as such games build “consistent engagement ties with consumers” and allowed the industry to grow “despite challenges in other categories of spend.”
Hardware sales amounted to $575 million, a drop of 22 percent this quarter, despite the Nintendo Switch reporting strong sales, as it did earlier this year. Year-to-date (January to September) sales of video game hardware came in at $1.9 billion, resulting in a 23 percent decline for the hardware market.
A total of $390 million was spent by gamers this quarter on accessories like gamepads, headsets and other peripherals. The figure represents a 3 percent decline for this quarter as well as for year-to-date spending. “Despite the year-to-date decline, video game accessory spending has reached its third highest total in history, trailing only the first three quarter totals of 2008 and 2018,” noted NPD.
In September, the research firm also predicted the best-selling titles in the US for 2019 with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare at the top spot, making it the ninth time for the franchise to outsell every other game in eleven years.