Spending Fell by $1.2 Billion Compared to Q1 2021, Content Declined $900 Million
Port Washington, NY, May 11, 2022 – According to the Q1 2022 Games Market Dynamics: U.S.* report from The NPD Group, overall total consumer spending on video gaming in the U.S. totaled $13.9 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022 (January – March), a decline of 8% when compared to Q1 2021.
Losses were seen across console and portable content, PC, cloud and non-console VR content, mobile content, hardware, and accessories. Mobile contributed most to the decline. Data from Sensor Tower shows U.S. consumer spending in mobile games during the first quarter fell 10% from Q1 2021.
“We witnessed an uncharacteristic quarter-over-quarter decline in mobile game spending by U.S. players coming out of 2021,” said Randy Nelson, head of mobile insights at Sensor Tower. “While that represents a net slowdown in revenue generation for the category, usage of the most popular titles continues to grow, with their combined active users up from the first quarter of last year as well from the first quarter of 2019. Players are clearly still engaging with favorite games on mobile but have a broader array of alternative entertainment options open to them compared to a year ago as life in the U.S. normalizes.”
Overall content spending in Q1 reached $12.13 billion, a 7% decrease over Q1 2021. Subscription content was the only segment to post positive gains. Hardware and accessories declined 15% and 16%, respectively.
Among the best-selling and most played games across all platforms in the first quarter were Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Vanguard, Call of Duty: Warzone, Candy Crush Saga, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Coin Master, Elden Ring, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Horizon: Forbidden West, Madden NFL 22, Mario Kart 8, Mario Party Superstars, Minecraft, NBA 2K22, Pokémon GO, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Roblox, The Sims 4, and WWE 2K22.
“Despite declines when compared to the first quarter of 2021, industry spending and engagement remained significantly higher than pre-pandemic levels,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Several factors influenced the changes in spending on video games seen so far this year. These included continued supply constraints on new console hardware, a comparable quarter from last year that included government COVID-19 stimulus checks for individuals, and the return of experiential spending opportunities that had been depressed last year, among others.”
Video game hardware unit sales were led by Nintendo Switch, while Xbox hardware generated the highest dollar sales in the first quarter, a 92% increase when compared Q1 2021.
Games Market Dynamics: U.S. provides a comprehensive measure of the consumer spend on video games in the U.S. including purchases of video games hardware, content, and accessories. It is released on a quarterly basis and provides insight and trending into the broader consumer spend on the industry including physical format sales such as new and used physical retail sales as well as game rentals, and digital format sales including full game digital downloads and downloadable content (DLC), spending on subscriptions and mobile gaming. This assessment of the broader consumer spend on the industry utilizes NPD’s monthly POS tracking services as well as consumer data from other NPD trackers, monitors, and reports.
*Accessory sales exclude game cards
About Sensor Tower, Inc.
Sensor Tower is the leading provider of market intelligence and insights for the global app economy. Founded in 2013 and based in San Francisco, CA, Sensor Tower provides enterprise-level data on mobile apps and publishers through our Store Intelligence, Ad Intelligence, Usage Intelligence, and App Intelligence platforms, which offer download, revenue, share of voice, and engagement metrics at unparalleled accuracy for the world’s most important markets. For more information, visit sensortower.com. Follow us on Twitter: @sensortower.