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U.S. video game spending reached $56.6 billion in 2022, a 5% decrease | ESA

The Entertainment Software Association and the NPD Group report that in 2022, Americans spent $56.6 billion on video games, down 5% from the previous year.

Following two years of unprecedented growth, the organisations said that video game sales had levelled out in 2021. The $56.6 billion total consists of earnings from software, hardware, and ancillary items for all platforms combined (console, cloud, mobile, portable, PC, and VR). This includes complete games, post-launch expenditures, and subscription fees.

“This new research confirms the video game industry’s leadership as a driving force in the U.S. economy and for innovative and creative entertainment,” said ESA CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis. “These statistics further demonstrate the pervasiveness of video gaming as a source of entertainment and social interaction in American homes.”

Even while console sales reached $6.57 billion in 2022, up 8% year over year, and more than $1.5 billion was spent on consoles in December 2022 alone, overall video game sales were down 5%.

There was a 7% drop in content expenditure, totaling $47.5 billion, and an 8% drop in accessory sales, totaling $2.5 billion from 2021. In2019, total video game sales concluded at $43.5 billion, with content at $37 billion, consoles at $3.9 billion, and accessories at $2.2 billion; the 2022 figures show the industry’s continued economic influence in the U.S., even as numbers settle post-COVID.

“In December 2022, U.S. consumers spent $7.6 billion on video game content, hardware, and accessories, up 2% from the previous year and bringing total expenditure for the year 2022 to $56.6 billion.” Mat Piscatella, a consultant for the video game business at The NDP Group, stated in a statement, “Factors influencing expenditure in 2022 included persistent supply restrictions of console hardware, a very thin slate of new premium releases, and macroeconomic factors.” The industry may resume growing in 2023 thanks to a combination of factors including a highly anticipated slate of new titles and the relaxation or removal of console hardware supply limits.

According to Sensor Tower, Inc.’s Dennis Yeh, who specialises in the industry’s financials, “the holiday season saw an expected uptick in spend across genres,” with the largest month-over-month gains in December coming from geolocation games (Pokémon Go, up 17%), simulation games (Roblox, up 15%), action games (Genshin Impact, up 15%), and shooters (Call of Duty Mobile, up 14%). “These categories include a disproportionate number of games that might gain from gift card use and holiday-based live operations or events.”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, Elden Ring, Madden NFL23, God of War: Ragnarök, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet, FIFA23, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Horizon II: Forbidden West, and MLB: The Show 22 were the best-selling PC/console games in order.