Q1 Saw A Slide in US Consumers’ Video Game Spending

May 12, 2022

This article is included in these additional categories: Cross-Media & Traditional | Customer-Centric | Spending Trends | Videogames

Perhaps it’s the result of loosening restrictions and anxiety surrounding the pandemic, but video game spending has fallen in the US for the first time in quite some time. Following an 8% increase in spend last year, the NPD Group details an 8% year-over-year drop in gaming industry sales in Q1.

Total consumer spending on video gaming fell to $13.92 billion during the first quarter, down from $15.16 billion a year earlier. 

Reflecting a 7% y-o-y decline, video game content sales dropped to $12.13 billion, with games such as “Elden Ring,” “Pokemon Legends: Arceus,” and “Horizon II: Forbidden West” listed among the top games of the quarter. The data reveals that the 7% decline for video game content sales was a more favorable result than other areas of the industry.

Indeed, sales of gaming hardware fell by a larger 15% over the same quarter last year. Nintendo Switch came out on top as the best selling hardware platform in unit sales for the quarter, while Xbox Series had the highest hardware consumer spending during that time.

Meanwhile, accessories experienced a y-o-y decline of 16%.

Although video game spending has dropped off, recent research indicates that spending on video games remains popular with US teens. Moreover, almost 6 in 10 (59% of) teens surveyed for a recent study reported playing video games on a target day last year, a slight rise from 56% in 2019. Teen gamers spent about 3 hours (3:01) per day on their video games last year, a 9-minute climb from 2019.

About the Data: Per The NPD Group, the “total video game sales number reflects total content spend on video games, including full-game, DLC/MTX and subscription consumer spending across console, cloud, mobile, portable, PC, and VR platforms”.

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