Last year was wild for gaming. Three strong-performing consoles, unbelievable software from established publishers, and breakout hits on PC led to an 11 percent increase in spending, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. U.S. consumers spent $14.59 billion on game-related products in 2017, which follows a $13.18 billion 2016.
“Sales of video game hardware and video game software led growth,” said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella.
Here are the full results from 2017:
- Total: $14.59 billion (up 11 percent from $13.18 billion in November 2016)
- Hardware: $4.71 billion (up 28 percent from $4.71 billion)
- Console software: $6.39 billion (up 6 percent from $6 billion)
- PC software: $275 million (down 20 percent from $342 million)
- Accessories and gamecards: $3.22 billion (up 2 percent from $3.14 billion)
Keep in mind that the above software numbers include both physical and digital, but only for publishers that share their data with NPD.
You can find the 10 best-selling games of 2017 in the U.S. right here, but games sold well outside of the top 10 as well. Last year had both blockbuster hits and an abundance of software. The NPD Group reports that 314 packaged games launched at retail in 2017.
“This is up 16 percent versus 2016’s 271 packaged releases,” said Piscatella. “And it is 36 percent higher than the century low 230 packaged retail releases in 2015. Total sales for packaged software experienced growth in 2017.”
Piscatella specifically highlighted the success of racing games, which saw launches like Forza Motorsport 7, F1 2018, and Dirt 4. Overall, the genre saw 68 percent higher sales compared to 2016.
“Sales of racing games showed the highest growth among all genres in 2017,” said Piscatella. While shooter games generated the most overall consumer spend.”
As for hardware, spending was also up a whopping 28 percent. The introduction of the Nintendo Switch was a major contributor to that $4.7 billion, but the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are also both healthy with lots of dedicated fans.
Overall, the gaming market seems like it is an excellent state. More people are turning to PC gaming for unique experiences, PS4 and Xbox One continue to outsell their predecessors, and Nintendo is addressing a market beyond the other consoles with the Switch. In 2018, we should see publishers and platform holders capitalize on this excitement once again.