Month after month in the US, The NPD Group sends out its retail data report, revealing abysmal results for the physical games business. As we all know, that's only about half the story these days, and now NPD has issued its Q3 2012 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report, which shows that digital accounted for $1.4 billion in sales during the third quarter (July-September).
Consumers spent $1.07 billion in the US on new physical video and PC game software and another $399 million on used games and rentals. Importantly, though, the $1.4 billion spent on digital content (full game and add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games) brought the overall consumer spend for Q3 to $2.87 billion.
When including overall consumer content spending across both digital and physical formats in Q3 2012, there was a positive story for the industry, said Liam Callahan, industry analyst, The NPD Group. Despite declines in physical format spending of 16 percent from Q3 2011, strong growth in digital format spending, up 22 percent, helped offset this decline and led to 1 percent decline in content spending from the same quarter last year. Mobile App spending, digital full game downloads, and downloadable add-on content were the areas within digital format spending that helped drive this increase.