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NPD estimates $5.9B in game sales in first quarter


Market research firm NPD estimates that consumers spent $5.9 billion on video games in the first quarter of 2011, a 1.5 percent increase from the same period of last year. That doesn't mean everything is unicorns and rainbows, since the comparison is to 2010, the second consecutive year to see declines in consumer spending. The "glass half full" perspective would be that it seems like things aren't immediately worse.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier notes that the new physical retail channel (translation: new games that come in a box) still makes up a majority of industry sales, as the market research firm tries to get a good grip on digital sales data. The company estimates the total spent on "used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games" to be $1.85 billion during the first quarter.

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Total Consumer Spend on Hardware, Content, and Accessories in the U.S. Estimated at $5.9 Billion

PORT WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, July 11, 2011 – According to the Q1 2011 Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend report from leading market research company, The NPD Group, in addition to the $2.03 billion spent in the U.S. by consumers on new physical video and PC game software in the first quarter of 2011, the total consumer spend on content via other monetization methods, including used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games, is estimated at $1.85 billion. The total amount spent by consumers on hardware, content and accessories is estimated at $5.9 billion, an increase of 1.5 percent versus Q1 2010.

"While the new physical retail channel still generates the majority of industry sales, our expanded research coverage allows us to assess the total consumer spend across the growing number of ways to acquire and experience gaming, including mobile apps and downloadable content," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "Through a combination of point-of-sale and consumer research tracking, The NPD Group is providing an expanded, more comprehensive measure of a dynamic and rapidly evolving games industry."

The estimates are published in NPD's new report, Games Industry: Total Consumer Spend –released by The NPD Group in late June 2011 - and are derived leveraging NPD's portfolio of physical POS tracking (Retail Tracking Service) and consumer research including the Games Acquisition Monitor, Video Game and PC Game Subscriptions Report and Consumer Tracking Service. It also incorporates consumer spend estimation provided by NPD retail and publisher partners, and calibration with third-party sources.

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 1,800 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, commercial technology, consumer technology, entertainment, fashion, food and beverage, foodservice, home, office supplies, software, sports, toys, and wireless. For more information, contact us, visit, or follow us Twitter at

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