Gamers keep gaming, but consumer spending continues to slide.
According to the Q3 2022 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report from The NPD Group, the U.S. video game industry pulled in $12.34 billion during the third quarter, a 5% decline over the same period last year. Despite the dip, growth in hardware sales is a welcome bright spot following two years of shortages at retail.
Sales of new video game consoles spiked 16% in Q3 with Sony’s PlayStation 5 — which launched two years ago this month — leading the charge in both total unit and total dollar sales.
“Improved supply of new generation consoles provided a much-needed boost to consumer spending in the third quarter. Unfortunately, this increase wasn’t enough to offset lower content spending from a light release slate and macro factors impacting the video game consumer,” says Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group. “PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X hardware each achieved double-digit percentage gains in consumer spending during the quarter, while new premium releases such as FIFA 23, Madden NFL 23, NBA 2K23, and Splatoon 3, among others, saw strong sales and engagement. The market is showing signs of positive momentum moving into the holiday quarter. If the supply of new generation consoles continues to improve, more positive changes in performance may be seen.”
According to Sensor Tower, an organization that tracks mobile gaming, consumer spending in the mobile category fell 9% in Q3.
“Mobile game spend in the U.S. continues to decline as consumers contend with both economic uncertainties and a new post-pandemic normal,” says Dennis Yeh, gaming insights lead at Sensor Tower. “Midcore games that require longer or continued playing sessions are being pinched by reductions in discretionary time and money to spend on mobile games. Spending on mobile games is declining much more than it is for games that typically require less active engagement, like social slots games. 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.”
The NPD Group says that the best-selling and most played games across all platforms in Q3 include Among Us, Angry Birds 2, Bingo Blitz, Call of Duty: Warzone, Candy Crush Saga, Candy Crush Soda Saga, Clash of Clans, Coin Master, FIFA 23, Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto V, Madden NFL 23, Mario Kart 8, Minecraft, NBA 2K23, Pokémon GO, Roblox, Splatoon 3, The Sims 4 and Xenoblade Chronicles 3.