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$14.8 billion spent on gaming in US last year, says NPD

Physical drops 21 percent while digital sales rise

The United States spent $14.8 billion on video games in 2012, according to estimates from the NPD Group. This estimate includes new physical software sales, used sales, rentals, and digital software sales, without hardware and accessory sales.

U.S. consumers spent $7.09 billion on new physical software, $1.79 billion on used sales and rentals, and $5.92 billion on digital content, including downloadable games, DLC, subscriptions, mobile games, and social games. The combined total was down 9 percent ($1.54 billion) from 2011's $16.34 billion total. The biggest loser was physical software, while declined 21 percent from $11.25 billion in 2011 to $8.88 billion this year. Digital picked up the slack with 16 percent growth, rising to $5.92 billion in 2012.

"When including all other forms of content spending outside of new physical games, the 2012 U.S. games market was more than twice as large as the total spending on new physical games alone," said NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan. "There were divergent trends when looking at content spending in 2012 as a whole, with a decrease of 21 percent in spending on physical content while digital content spending grew 16 percent; both formats combined for a total decline of 9 percent for the year."

The estimates are included in the NPD Group's recently-released report, Games Market Dynamics: U.S.

[Image via DallasNews]

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Mike Williams

Reviews Editor, USgamer

M.H. Williams is new to the journalism game, but he's been a gamer since the NES first graced American shores. Third-person action-adventure games are his personal poison: Uncharted, Infamous, and Assassin's Creed just to name a few. If you see him around a convention, he's not hard to spot: Black guy, glasses, and a tie.