The NPD group recently released its annual tally of the video game industry, including physical, digital, new, used, rented, permanent, full and additional content and the numbers are dire: the overall video game industry sales in the U.S. are down from $16.34 billion to $14.8 billion, a 9 percent decrease.
This continues the trend from 2011 where video game sales trended downward even as hobby games trended upward. Additionally, the sale of physical product is decelerating even as video games shift to an online download model, much as tabletop role-playing games have with PDFs, down 22% in 2012. The study also revealed that gamers spent $7.09 billion on new physical releases in 2012, with an additional $1.79 billion in used titles and rentals. Digital content (full games, DLC, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games), netted an additional $5.92 billion.
Liam Callahan, an analyst for the NPD Group, said:
There were divergent trends when looking at content spending in 2012 as a whole. 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.
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