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Retail Industry Updates

The Video Gaming Industry Has Not Hit the Pause Button

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iStock/sakkmesterke

Game over? Not quite.

The video gaming industry is continuing on its pandemic-induced roll. According to the “Q4 2020 Games Market Dynamics: U.S.” report from The NPD Group, overall total consumer spending on video gaming in the U.S. continued to break records, reaching $18.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020 (October-December), an increase of 26% compared to the 2019 fourth quarter. Full-year U.S. games industry consumer spend across all categories reached $57 billion, a 27% increase versus 2019.

Significant Q4 and annual 2020 gains were seen across digital console and PC content, mobile and subscription spending, as well as across hardware and accessories categories, according to the report.

Content spending in Q4 reached $14.5 billion, an increase of 23%, while annual spending on content topped $49 billion, a 26% increase versus 2019. Hardware and accessories also experienced double-digit percentage gains for the quarter and year, increasing 47% and 15%, respectively, in Q4, and 35% and 22%, respectively, for the year.

According to NPD, mong the best-selling and most played games in the fourth quarter were Among Us, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Candy Crush Saga, Cyberpunk 2077, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Minecraft, NBA 2K21 and Pokémon Go.

“Growth across almost all gaming segments drove the market to record spending in both the fourth quarter and the year,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at Port Washington, N.Y.-based NPD. “Video game content growth was led by mobile, both the biggest and fastest growing segment, while console, PC and other segments such as cloud gaming also experienced significant increases.”

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