NPD: US video game spending hits all-time high in Q2

Q2 2020 saw the US players spend $11.6 billion on video games and related products. The figure, according to the NPD Group, is an absolute record for the US market. More interestingly still, every third PS4 or Xbox One owner actually owns both consoles.

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Key stats

  • from April to June 2020, players spent 30% more on video games compared to last year, which is also 7% higher than the record spending in the first quarter ($10.9 billion);
  • most of this came directly from content ($10.2 billion). Sales increased by 28% in comparison with the previous year, and growth was strong across all categories – from retail to digital sales and subscriptions;
  • hardware sales were up 57% and reached $848 million. The stats for each of the three key consoles (PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch) increased by at least 47%;
  • The US players spent $584 million on various accessories. Specifically, sales of steering wheels jumped by as much as 60% (this is largely due to tracing esport events broadcast in the last quarter).

Hits such as Call of Duty: Modern WarfareGTA VMario Kart 8: DeluxeMinecraftNBA 2K20Pokémon Go, and games from the Candy Crush mobile franchise were key drivers of the sales growth. Among this year’s releases, the report mentions Animal Crossing: New HorizonsCall of Duty: WarzoneFinal Fantasy VII: Remake, and The Last of Us: Part II.

Notably, 82% of console gamers also spend time playing mobile games, and 1 in 3 PS4 or Xbox One owners owns both consoles.

The record numbers were partly influenced by the pandemic. “During the pandemic, many have turned to video games not only to keep them preoccupied, but also to stay in touch with family and friends. This has resulted in an acceleration of what were already established trends towards heightened video game player engagement,” says Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group.

Analysts from the NPD Group conclude that players are playing for more hours, while spending more in the process. Given the current conditions, there are no signs of this growth slowing down.

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