The US videogame industry took in about $15.5 billion dollars last
year in a performance on par with that of 2009, the research firm NPD
Group estimated Thursday.
According to 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 game apps, is between $15.4 to $15.6
billion. This total consumer spend on games content in 2010 represent
sales that are flat to down by as much as 1 percent when compared to
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 $10.1 billion, a 5 percent decline over the $10.6 billion
generated in 2009.
Bright spots came from PC games new physical retail software, which
was up 3 percent in 2010, as well as increases in the consumer spend
on used games sales, full-game digital downloads and downloadable
content, mobile gaming apps, and social network gaming, which offset
declines in console and portable new physical game sales, rentals,
"December 2010 represented one of the strongest monthly performances
the industry has ever had at retail. It was a robust finish to a year
marked by innovation and engaging millions of consumers through a
multitude of delivery models," said Michael D. Gallagher, president
and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, the trade group
that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. "Computer
and video games led all other entertainment options as we responded
to consumers? demands for creative content on every platform from
consoles to smart phones to handheld game devices. I look forward to
a strong 2011 with a great pipeline of titles, many of which will be
unveiled at the global center of video games?the E3 Expo."
"The dynamics of games content purchasing changed dramatically in
2010 with options ranging from the physical product to digital
downloads on connected devices as well as in-store digital kiosks,"
said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "The increasing
number of ways to acquire the content has allowed the industry to
maintain total consumer spend on content as compared to 2009, and we
should expect 2011 to be a growth year in the games industry as the
consumer demand for gaming continues to evolve."
Microsoft's Xbox 360 video game consoles were the only platform to
sell more hardware in 2010 than in the previous year, according to
At CEs 2011, Steve Ballmer boasted that Microsoft sold more than
eight million Kinect controllers for Xbox 360 video game consoles in
the 60 days after it hit the market in November.
The best-selling game for December as well as for all of 2010 was
shooter title "Call of Duty: Black Ops," which fans buying more than
12 million copies since it was released in November.
Nintendo also claimed victory when it came to video game consoles and
handheld device sales, selling 8.5 million DS devices and 7 million
Wii consoles in the year.
Nintendo sold more than 2.5 million Nintendo DS systems and more than
2.3 million Wii systems in December alone, bringing their lifetime
U.S. sales totals to more than 47 million and more than 34 million,
With the new Nintendo 3DS system is set to launch in the United
States in March, Nintendo has strong momentum heading into 2011.
Nintendo 3DS lets users view 3D images without the need for special
Three of the top five best-selling games of December play exclusively
on Nintendo systems. These include Just Dance 2 from Ubisoft at No.
1, Donkey Kong Country Returns from Nintendo at No. 3 and Disney Epic
Mickey from Disney Interactive Studios at No. 4.