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U.S. consumers are spending money on games but not quite at the pace they were in 2012, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group.
The information company released its 2013 Games Market Dynamics report for the U.S. and claims that consumers in that market spent a total of $2.88 billion on game-related content. That includes the $769 million gamers spent on new physical titles and hardware that NPD reported in its monthly sales charts.
In addition to the new physical goods, NPD found that gamers spent another $343 million on used and rental titles. Digital goods made up the rest with a whopping $1.77 billion in sales. This number includes full games on services like Steam, downloadable content, subscription services, mobile gaming apps, and social games on platforms like Facebook.
Despite the huge chunk of money gamers are spending on digital goods, overall sales were still down 3 percent from 2012 when gamers spent $2.97 billion in the same period.
“The decrease in new physical spending is partly due to the decline in the number of new SKUs released at retail — with 37 percent fewer new SKUs in Q2 2013 compared to Q2 2012 — which is to be expected as developers, publishers, and consumers alike prepare for the next hardware generation,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. “Increases in digital format spending offset nearly all the losses from the declines in physical format spending, with digital full game downloads and downloadable-content spending experiencing a combined 27 percent increase — when compared to Q2 2012. Spending increases occurred across both video games and PC games in the digital format.”
The industry is slowing down, but it hasn’t come to a halt. A massive portion of the spending is now online. With anticipated products like Grand Theft Auto V, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 set to launch by the end of this year, the game industry is likely to squeak out some full-year growth.