NPD analyst Liam Callahan recently produced some fascinating data regarding the sales of digital video game content (as in downloadable, not on discs of some sort) throughout the United States, UK, France, and Germany. Combined, those four markets spent more than $10 billion on digital video games in 2012, with the US unsurprisingly taking up the lion’s share at $5.9 billion. Moreover, in the United States, digital downloads now make up a whopping forty percent of all video game sales in the country.
Total spending for the United States on new video games for 2012 was over $7 billion, just under half of the nearly $15 billion spent in total on video game content. NPD went on to describe the remainder of the spending with used games making up $1.59 billion, digital games and DLC making up $2.22 billion, mobile gaming at $2.11 billion, video game subscriptions at $1.05 billion (most of which is probably WoW at this point), social network gaming at $544 million (Facebook), and game rentals at $198 million.
All of this is to say that the market shows no sign of slowing down, growing over 33% year over year. Moreover, explosive growth of free-to-play MMOs and mobile/social games in Asia have a good chance of taking over the world trends – in 2016 more people may be playing in the insanely popular free-to-play market than in discrete, ‘traditional’ markets – money spent in the mobile gaming arena is expected to broach $1 billion in 2013, on its way to close to $3 billion in 2016.