What happened now? In these times of economic caution, it’s not just tech products that suffer; Video game sales have also fallen over the past year, by nearly $2 billion, according to a new report. This is the latest sign that the boom period caused by the lockdown is indeed over.
Research company NPD writes that U.S. spending on video games, including content, hardware, and accessories, reached $12.35 billion in the most recent quarter. That’s still a lot of money, but it’s down $1.78 billion, or 13 percent, from the same period last year.
Looking at some individual segments, Q2 content spending reached $10.97 billion, down another 13% from Q2 2021. Hardware and accessories declined by 1% and 11%, respectively, but mobile content contributed the most to the overall decline.
However, there was one segment of content that did grow year-over-year: non-mobile subscription spending, which rose 15% in the second quarter. So this is good news for those who use Microsoft’s Xbox/PC Game Pass service. Interestingly, the Sony PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium tiers only launched towards the end of the quarter, so they wouldn’t have had much of an impact on the numbers.
As we’ve seen in other industries, consumers are still spending more on video games this year than they did in the pre-pandemic era, but the post-lockdown effect and rising cost of living are driving growth year-on-year.
“Higher prices in everyday spending categories such as food and gas, returns on empirical spending such as travel and attendance at live events, a shorter release schedule for new games, and continued hardware supply restrictions for new generation consoles were likely reasons for the observed decline. in the second quarter,” said Matt Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group.
“After a period of robust growth, consumer spending continues to exceed pre-pandemic levels. However, unpredictable and rapidly changing conditions may continue to have an unexpected impact on the market in the coming quarters.”
NPD also reports that LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was the quarter’s best-selling premium game. The Nintendo Switch has led the way in hardware sales, something we’ve seen virtually every quarter since the handheld hybrid launched in March 2017. However, the PlayStation 5 generated the highest dollar sales.
Sony revised its full-year earnings forecast this week amid weaker software sales, which fell 26% year-on-year in the second quarter. Microsoft’s gaming revenue fell 7% and Nintendo is expected to announce a year-over-year decrease in hardware sales tomorrow.
Title: Elena Yakobchuk