NPD 2011: Sales across industry between $16.3 and $16.6 billion, Ubi tops software sales list

Assassination and dancing has proven to be a lucrative mix, as Just Dance 2 and 3 and Assassin's Creed: Revelations helped Ubisoft to lead this year's best seller's list with three entries. That's according to the NPD Group, which also estimates the video game industry's profits, comprising "new physical video and PC games, used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games," reached sales of somewhere between $16.3 and $16.6 billion in 2011.

Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 took top honors (it's kind of a big deal), while Just Dance 3 and Skyrim occupied the second and third spots, respectively. NPD also says that, despite sales growth in the digital sector yet again, physical copies offered at retail outlets still accounted for the majority of sales coming in at $9.3 billion, "an 8 percent decline over the $10.1 billion in 2010."

That decline was "partially" offset by increases in digital, mobile, and used game sales, which NPD expects to be a focus moving into 2012. "Our overall estimate of the market continues to point toward the increased imperative for deeper visibility into digital distribution than is available today, not only in the U.S. but globally," said NPD prez David McQuillan. Our waning shelf space agrees.
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2011 TOTAL CONSUMER SPEND ON ALL GAMES CONTENT IN THE U.S. ESTIMATED BETWEEN $16.3 TO $16.6 BILLION
- U.S. VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY NEW PHYSICAL RETAIL CONTENT SALES REACH $9.3 BILLION -


PORT WASHINGTON, NY, January 12, 2012 – According to leading market research company, The NPD Group, the preliminary estimate* for total consumer spend on gaming content via all monetization methods, including new physical video and PC games, used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games, is between $16.3 to $16.6 billion. This total consumer spend on games content in 2011, which includes both physical and digital formats, represents sales that are down approximately 2 percent when compared to 2010.

Based on this estimate, spending on new physical content at retail continues to account for the majority of the total consumer spend on games content. U.S. retail sales of new physical video game content, which includes portable, console and PC game software, generated revenues of $9.3 billion, an 8 percent decline over the $10.1 billion generated in 2010.

Bright spots came from HD console software sales, which were up 9 percent in 2011, as well as increases in the consumer spend on used games sales, full-game digital downloads and downloadable content, and mobile gaming apps, which partially offset declines in the other areas of consumer spend on content.

"Overall industry results are not entirely surprising given that we are on the back end of the current console lifecycle, combined with the continued digital evolution of gaming. Core gamers continue to be engaged and spend on established franchises across both the digital and physical format using multiple devices for different gaming occasions," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.

"Our overall estimate of the market continues to point toward the increased imperative for deeper visibility into digital distribution than is available today, not only in the U.S. but globally. This is the goal of our partnership with EEDAR, and central to our discussions with publishers and others in the gaming community," said David McQuillan, president, Games at The NPD Group.

* A final estimate of the total consumer spend on the games industry will be released in March with the final 2011 issue of the Games Market Dynamics: U.S. (2011)

About The NPD Group, Inc.
The NPD Group is the leading provider of reliable and comprehensive consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries. Today, more than 2,000 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels. NPD helps our clients to identify new business opportunities and guide product development, marketing, sales, merchandising, and other functions. Information is available for the following industry sectors: automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visithttp://www.npd.com/, or follow us Twitter at https://twitter.com/npdgroup.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.