2011 Expected to Be a Growth Year in Gaming Industry as Consumer Demand Continues to Evolve

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According to The NPD Group, the preliminary estimate for total consumer spend in 2010 on gaming content via all monetization methods, including new physical video and PC games, used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile game apps, is between $15.4 to $15.6 billion. This total consumer spend on games content in 2010 represent sales that are flat to down by as much as 1% when compared to 2009.

Based on this estimate, spending on new physical content at retail continues to account for the majority of the total consumer spend on games content. U.S. retail sales of new physical video game content, which includes portable, console and PC game software, generated revenues of $10.1 billion, a 5% decline over the $10.6 billion generated in 2009.

Bright spots came from PC games new physical retail software, which was up 3% in 2010, as well as increases in the consumer spend on used games sales, full-game digital downloads and downloadable content, mobile gaming apps, and social network gaming, which offset declines in console and portable new physical game sales, rentals, and subscriptions.

"December 2010 represented one of the strongest monthly performances the industry has ever had at retail. It was a robust finish to a year marked by innovation and engaging millions of consumers through a multitude of delivery models," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, the trade group that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. "Computer and video games led all other entertainment options as we responded to consumers’ demands for creative content on every platform from consoles to smart phones to handheld game devices. I look forward to a strong 2011 with a great pipeline of titles, many of which will be unveiled at the global center of video games—the E3 Expo."

"The dynamics of games content purchasing changed dramatically in 2010 with options ranging from the physical product to digital downloads on connected devices as well as in-store digital kiosks," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "The increasing number of ways to acquire the content has allowed the industry to maintain total consumer spend on content as compared to 2009, and we should expect 2011 to be a growth year in the games industry as the consumer demand for gaming continues to evolve."

[Source:  Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend 2010 (Preliminary Estimate).  The NPD Group.  13 Jan. 2011.  Web.  17 Jan. 2011.]