NPD has revealed new US sales figures for games in 2013 – and this time around, the research group has included digital revenue and second-hand sales in their findings.
Following its 2013 US retail report – which showed a 2 per cent year-over-year decline in industry sales – NPD has released its 2013 Games Market Dynamics report that factors in second-hand game sales, digital downloads, DLC/in-app purchases, and subscription models.
Not including hardware sales, the report claims US consumers spent a total of $15.39bn on game content in 2013 – up 1 per cent from 2012. That breaks down to $7.22bn in digital content sales, $6.34bn spent on new physical game sales, and $1.83bn in used and rental revenue.
The totals combined with the retail results actually indicate a year-over-year increase of 2 per cent – which would seem to argue in favor of a market in transition, rather than a market in decline.
"Growth in digitally distributed content is vital to overall industry health," NPD analyst Liam Callahan said.
"Since this is such a topic of high interest to the industry, we recently conducted additional in-depth research into consumer behavior with regard to digital content acquisition, and found that 36 percent of the U.S. population ages 13 and older was playing games acquired digitally, with incidence highest among teens and young adults. Interestingly, however, there is no particular point after age 25 where incidence declines significantly."
The group based its estimates on a number of references, including "third-party sources,” NPD's own physical point-of-sale tracking, and consumer data provided by retail and publishing partners.