More American Consumers Turning to Downloadable Games

It seems that the downloadable game market is bringing a firm dose of reality to the viability of physical-game retailers these days, if the latest figures from game industry analysts mean anything.

Last year, consumers spent a total of $14.8 billion on video games (software, used sales, rentals, digital sales; not console hardware or accessories), which was a 9% drop from the total spent in 2011. The used game market saw $1.79 billion in sales and new games from physical retailers earned $7.09 billion.

But here’s where the figures heat up, because digital content in 2012—which includes downloadable games, DLC, subscriptions, mobile & social games with paid content) took $5.92 billion in sales, which brings it remarkably close to the revenue brought in by physical retail sales. These sales figures show a drop of 21% for retail store game purchases… and an increase of 16% for digital content.

This definitely reflects the latest reports coming out of Nintendo (and other companies, but who’s counting?), so it’s a good sign that Nintendo made huge progress last year in their digital offerings, finally offering full-game downloads right from their console shops.

The next step? This will likely be download content cards for Nintendo products. We’re seeing some of this in North America right now, and it has been an enormous success in Japan this far—and the sooner Nintendo jumps on this in a big way, the sooner they may be able to take an even bigger slice of the download pie!

(Editor’s Note: Mmm… download pie…)


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Author: Micah View all posts by
Micah has been playing games since his first pong machine, and has been writing for as long as he could grip a pencil and not drool on the paper. So, for about a week.

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