Less Than Half of Game Sales Are From New, Physical Content

Gross sales of digital downloads soar in 2012.

Gross sales of digital downloads soar in 2012.
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Last year, Americans spent a whopping $14.8 billion on video games. Oddly enough, this number is actually down from 2011’s $16.34 billion, but the details of this figure are what’s important.

In 2012, sales for digital content–things like add-ons, subscriptions, and mobile games–rose 16 percent to $5.92 billion while sales of physical games–new or used–dropped radically from $11.25 billion in 2011 to $8.88 billion in 2012.

“When including all other forms of content spending outside of new physical games, the 2012 U.S. games market was more than twice as large as the total spending on new physical games alone,” Liam Callahan says in the NPD Group’s report on video game sales.

With digital marketplaces typical for all major consoles and the rise of casual social media gaming, the fate of brick-and-mortar game stores seem to be increasingly uncertain.

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HC Billings

HC Billings is an excellent gamer, acceptable writer, and laughable parkourist.