Consumer videogame spending in the third quarter fell 5% vs. the same period in 2021, continuing a string of tough comparisons for the industry against an uncharacteristically strong prior year as spenders continued to seek out some alternate experiences, but with more consoles available to buy.
Data from NPD Group's Q3 2022 Games Market Dynamics U.S. report show overall spending at $12.34B for the July-September quarter, with a heavy drop in content spending only partly mitigated by higher hardware outlays, and the slide in mobile game spending still ongoing.
“Improved supply of new generation consoles provided a much-needed boost to consumer spending in the third quarter," NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. "Unfortunately, this increase wasn’t enough to offset lower content spending from a light release slate and macro factors impacting the videogame consumer."
Overall content spending during the quarter fell 7% year-over-year to $10.64B. Hardware spending rose 16% - PlayStation 5 (NYSE:SONY) led hardware in both unit and dollar sales terms - and accessories spending fell 12%.
Consumer spending in mobile games fell 9% in particular. “Mobile game spend in the U.S. continues to decline as consumers contend with both economic uncertainties and a new post-pandemic normal,” said Sensor Tower's Dennis Yeh. "While there is still a decent chance this year’s U.S. mobile game revenue will surpass 2021 levels, worsening headwinds have firmly shifted the conversation away from the question of by how much.”
Among the best-selling and most-played games across all platforms for the quarter, according to NPD Group: Among Us, Angry Birds 2 (OTCPK:RVTTY), Bingo Blitz (PLTK), Call of Duty: Warzone (NASDAQ:ATVI), Candy Crush Saga (ATVI), Candy Crush Soda Saga (ATVI), Clash of Clans (OTCPK:TCEHY), Coin Master, FIFA 23 (NASDAQ:EA), Fortnite (OTCPK:TCEHY), Grand Theft Auto V (TTWO), Madden NFL 23 (EA), Mario Kart 8 (OTCPK:NTDOY), Minecraft, NBA 2K23 (TTWO), Pokémon GO (OTCPK:NTDOY), Roblox (RBLX), Splatoon 3 (OTCPK:NTDOY), The Sims 4 (EA) and Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (OTCPK:NTDOY).
New premium releases in particular showed strong sales and engagement in the third quarter. "The market is showing signs of positive momentum moving into the holiday quarter," Piscatella said. "If the supply of new generation consoles continues to improve, more positive changes in performance may be seen.”
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