Port Washington, NY, February 2, 2023 – According to The NPD Group, consumer spending on video gaming in the U.S. totaled $18.1B billion in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022 (October-December), an increase of 2% when compared to Q4 2021.
This Q4 growth was not enough to offset losses from prior quarters. U.S. consumer spending on video game hardware, content, and accessories totaled $56.6 billion during 2022, decreasing by 5% compared to 2021, according to NPD’s “Q4 2022 U.S. Games Market Dynamics” report. Spending increases in console hardware and non-mobile subscription content were offset by declines in other areas. Continued supply constraints of new console hardware, a limited slate of new game releases, and changing macroeconomic conditions led to inconsistent market performance throughout 2022.
Source: The NPD Group / Q4 2022 U.S. Games Market Dynamics Report
Consumer spending on video game hardware, content, and accessories continued to trend well above pre-pandemic levels throughout 2022. While market performance in 2022 fell behind the all-time highs reached in 2021, spending during the year was 30% higher than 2019 pre-pandemic levels.
Video game content spending totaled $47.5 billion in 2022, declining by 7%, year over year. Subscription spending was the only content segment to grow, gaining 10% over the previous year. However, increases in this segment were offset by declines in mobile and digital add-on spending for consoles and PC platforms.
While it was a relatively light year for new releases, sales performance for several titles stood out. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Elden Ring, God of War Ragnarök, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and Pokémon Scarlet/Violet were among the notable successes in 2022. Several long-running live service titles contributed to strong consumer spending and engagement. Among Us, Call of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft, Roblox, and The Sims 4 continued to rank in the most-engaged games, some doing so years after their initial launches.
Supply chain and economic disruptions will continue to impact the market, including continuing geopolitical and pandemic-related challenges. The video game market appears to be stabilizing after several shocks, including pandemic-driven changes in consumer behavior, supply constraints of new console hardware, and disruption to video game development schedules.
“The short-term outlook for the industry remains uncertain,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Beyond the potential for macroeconomic headwinds, there are industry-specific areas of uncertainty, including changing consumer play preferences, challenges associated with AAA video game development, and even the uncertain release timing of Nintendo’s next-generation console.”
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.
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