US spend on video games up 1% in Q3

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According to the Q3 2019 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report from The NPD Group, overall total industry consumer spending on video gaming in the US reached $9.18 billion (€8.3bn) in the third quarter of 2019 (July – September), an increase of 1 per cent compared to the same time period last year.

Double-digit per centage gains were seen across digital console content, mobile and subscription spending, with declines across hardware, accessories, physical console content and digital PC content offsetting much of the gains seen across the other segments.  Year-to-date (January – September) consumer spending has also increased by 1 per cent, to $27.9 billion.

Sales of video game content reached $8.1 billion in the third quarter, up 3 per cent when compared to a year ago. Gains in mobile, subscription and digital console content sales drove the market higher. Year-to-date content spending also increased 3 per cent, reaching $24.7 billion.

Games such as Borderlands 3, Candy Crush Saga, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Madden NFL 20, Minecraft, NBA 2K20, and Pokémon Go were among the best-performing titles of the third quarter.

“Thanks to growth in video game content spending across mobile and subscription services, the US video game market has continued to grow, despite cyclical challenges and tough comparable sales from last year,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Growth in digital content spending on consoles has also been remarkable, driven by live service games that are building consistent engagement ties with consumers. These factors have allowed the industry to reach growth, despite challenges in other categories of spend.”

Strong growth in sales of Nintendo Switch hardware could not offset declines across other hardware platforms, leading the overall video game hardware market to fall 22 per cent in the quarter, to $575 million. Year-to-date sales of video game hardware declined 23 per cent to $1.9 billion.

Sales of video game accessories, including gamepads, headsets, cases and other peripherals fell 3 per cent in the third quarter, to $390 million. Gains in gamepad and interactive gaming toy spending were offset by declines in other accessory types. Year-to-date spending on accessories also fell 3 per cent to $1.3 billion. 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.


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