US Consumer Spending on Video Games is Soaring This Year

September 6, 2018

Consumer spending on the US video game industry hit $19.5 billion in the first half of this year, representing a 40% jump year-over-year, per The NPD Group. If that pace sustains itself over the course of the year, consumer spending growth on video games will more than double last year’s pace of 18%.

The NPD Group reports that video game content sales have experienced a 43% increase to $16.9 billion this year. As such, content sales are almost 60% of the way already to matching last year’s total (of $29.1 billion), as all content categories have enjoyed increases in consumer spending.

The fastest growth, though, has been reserved for mobile games. To put in context the growing dominance of mobile gaming, a report released earlier this year by App Annie and International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that, globally, spending on mobile games outpaced combined spending on home console, PC/Mac and handheld console games by more than a third in 2017.

For its part, Newzoo expects that mobile game revenues will account for a majority – though a smaller one (51%) – of the global market, with PCs capturing 24% share and consoles 25% share.

Meanwhile, The NPD Group also noted in its release that spending on video game hardware reached a 7-year high as it grew by 21% to $1.7 billion. Accessory sales (excluding game cards) increased by 41%, with headphones and headsets close to doubling in revenue.

A recent study from Hub Entertainment Research found 16-34-year-olds in the US estimating that they spend as much of their leisure time playing video games (21% share) as they do watching TV (21%) and getting out and about (also 21%).

Separately, two-thirds (66%) of Americans ages 13 and older self-identify as gamers, up from 58% in 2013, according to a Nielsen study. Gamers are spending an average of 11% of their leisure time with video games this year, a figure that has remained largely consistently over the past few years, per Nielsen’s data.

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