The NPD Group announced today that consumers spent $3.45 billion on video game content during the third quarter (July through September) of 2013 in the United States – a 17 percent increase over the same period last year.
Analyst Liam Callahan attributes the growth to the release of Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto 5, which shipped a total of 29 million copies to retail as of last month. Americans spent $1.30 billion on brand-new, boxed retail games over the past quarter.
"Trends during the third quarter were the best that we have observed since the second quarter of 2011, driven by growth across both the physical and digital sides of the video game industry," said Callahan. "The launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 helped propel the new physical sales by twenty percent and continued growth of console digital full games as well as downloadable add-on content is an indication of the renewed health of the industry."
NPD added that digital game and downloadable content spending grew by 35 percent year-on-year, totaling $1.72 billion in Q3 2013. Used and rental sales reached $436 million over the last quarter.