Consumers spent $14.8 billion on video game content in 2012, a decline of 9%, according to The NPD Group.
Breaking down the 2012 spending, NPD says that consumers spent $7.09 billion on physical video game and PC game software, a 21% drop from 2011, and $5.92 billion on digital games (full game and add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games), a 16% increase. An additional $1.79 billion came from spending on used and rented games, NPD says.
Total spending in 2011 amounted to $16.34 billion, NPD says. The increase in digital game spending in 2012 wasn't enough to offset decreased physical game spending.
"There were divergent trends when looking at content spending in 2012 as a whole," said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. "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."
The report is another sign that video game spending was down in 2012. Last month, NPD said that the retail games market, which includes video game hardware such as consoles and handheld game systems, dropped 22% drop to $13.26 billion.
And there are slightly fewer U.S. gamers than a year ago, too, NPD reported in September. About two-thirds of Americans, 211.5 million, play games in the U.S., down 5% from 2011, according to NPD's gamer population report.
- by Mike Snyder, USA TODAY