The lights are on
According to industry trackers, consumers spent $3.4 billion on new video game content earlier this year, with digital sales on the rise.
Despite the large sum of money estimated spent on video games, this is down from 2011's first quarter estimate of $5.9 billion.
While NPD says that the decline of sales of new, physical software is not surprising ($1.5 billion for Q1 2012), sales of used games and rentals dropped minimally (only by five percent).
Furthermore, digital sales grew by as much as 10 percent from the same time period in 2011.
"While the growth in digital format sales does not yet offset the declines in physical format sales," said NPD analyst Anita Frazier, "clearly the changes occurring within the industry are reflected in the trends we are seeing in the research."
Email the author Matthew Kato, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
The problem with digital only content in the future is the size of the software. With internet companies more and more around the world imposing stricter bandwidth caps (our best in my town is 80GB for cable internet!), it's honestly scary to believe this could be our future. It will hurt the sales of games even further as people do not want to pay excessive overage charges to their ISPs simply to download their favorite games. What is even more bizarre especially with Canada, is that the government seems to agree with the ISPs that bandwidth caps are ok, and that the tighter the caps the better it is for everyone; despite the way we stream and download media content is getting WAY larger.
Everyone see's the "digital increase" and ignores the 57.62% decline in sales compared with last year. *Shrugs
Numbers would have been higher if Animal Crossing 3ds had released!
God i dont like digital downloads. i always forget i bought it and never play them. i have about 5 games i never touched lol because of it
Software decline is currently a trend in the wide technological sector.
Regarding gaming, digital is thriving. I support both, digital and physical media, but physical should not disappear. I have my retail copy of The Orange Box, and there's a good feeling about it.
Digital is also ideal for indy. The solution would be to stop buying all the stuff about digital downloads and games on demand. But we're just too deep into it, we can't afford to have gaming market damaged.
You can blame Valve (library) or Activision (DLC), but the destiny is undeniable.
Well, not every year is going to make more money than the year before.
That's a pretty big drop, but why the drop was happened is a really important fact. Maybe the first quarter of 2011 had better games, or people had more money that year, or people spent more money on other things or maybe people are already starting to save for the next console generation. The reason(s) for this drop should be determined before people start saying the industry is in danger of failing, which is something that people might think considering the percentage of the drop.
It does not surprise me with not so many titles coming out at the first of this year. But at the same time they need to look at DLC and full digital game purchases different. I love the idea that I can download add-ons to my games but absolutely hate the idea of full download. I prefer a box on my shelve, something tangible that I can hold. Upon the multitudes of reasons why I hate it is I can see them doing something like how the PS Vita is, where you constantly keep having to buy storage devices for your games. Memory cards became obsolete with this gen or consoles and now its looking as if we might back track. To me, its ridiculous and the choice to have hard copies should always be there... but thats just my opinion.