Even with the games industry figuring out their next generation, the money continues to flow in.
The games industry is busy gearing up for E3 this week, but it seems the games business analysts have already been hard at work crunching numbers. American consumers spent $3.5 billion on video games between January and April of this year, according to the new NPD report on Games Market Dynamics. The $3.5 billion is consistent with last year’s figures as video game developers, publishers and retailers received the same amount for the first quarter in 2012. However, this year, of that $3.5 billion, $1.37 billion went to physical software sales, $559 million went to used sales and rentals and $1.49 billion went to digital sales. Those digital sales include monthly subscriptions, mobile titles and DLC for all platforms, including Android and iOS.
Liam Callahan, an analyst for NPD says that the “digital spending fully offset the declines in physical format” in the first quarter. This meant that while developers and publishers were worried about the decrease in sales, online platforms such as SEN, XBLA, Origin, Desura and Steam, made up for the possibility of physical losses. Callahan also notes that there’s a ” strong growth in full-game downloads and downloadable add-on content sales across consoles, PCs, and portables, up a combined 25 percent in the first quarter of this year.”
With the next generation coming in only a matter of months, it will be incredibly interesting to see how game sales change over the course of the year. The Xbox One and PS4 could definitely boost the growing market and bring with it a whole new set of digital sales along with it. It’s also incredibly positive news that full-game downloads are growing with more console developers hoping to stray from physical sales, however, this could prove difficult to international gamers who may not have the best internet connection.