Consumer spending in the video game industry down 13 percent last quarter

In the second quarter, US consumer spending on video game content fell by 13 percent year-over-year, and hardware and accessories dropped by one and 11 points, respectively. Regarding consoles, the Nintendo Switch sold the most units, while the PlayStation 5 generated the most money. Meanwhile, MultiVersus overtook Elden Ring as the biggest-selling game last month.

Market research group NPD’s report on US consumer spending on video game content reveals that sales for hardware and accessories fell to $12.35 billion in the second quarter, a 13 percent decline year-over-year. The reasons behind this decline reportedly include continued console supply constraints (mainly the PlayStation 5), a reduced number of new game releases, rising living costs, and the return of experiential spending (travel, attending live events, etc.). However, NPD notes that consumer spending is still above pre-pandemic levels.

Overall video game content spending, including physical and digital sales, DLCs, microtransactions, and subscriptions across consoles, cloud, mobile, portables, PC, and VR tanked by 13 percent last quarter to $10.97 billion. Subscription content was the only segment to post positive gains, while mobile game spending dropped 12 percent.

Video game hardware sales remained relatively steady last quarter, dropping by only one percent YoY. The Nintendo Switch family sold the most units, while the PlayStation 5 generated the highest dollar sales in the period. Spending on video game accessories fell by 11 percent in the second quarter, mainly due to a drop in gamepad sales.

In July, MultiVersus dethroned Elden Ring as the best-selling video game (in dollars), despite only releasing on the 19th. MultiVersus is a free-to-play game, but in-game microtransactions coupled with Founders Packs containing character tickets used to unlock fighters helped it make more money than paid games.

The fighting game saw the most success on Xbox platforms, followed by Elden Ring and Call of Duty: Vanguard. On PlayStation, Elden Ring came out on top, with MLB: The Show 22 also doing better than MultiVersus. Meanwhile, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was the best-selling game of July on the Nintendo Switch, with Mario Kart 8 and Kirby and the Forgotten Land rounding out the top three.