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Video games are having a massive year and new data from The NPD Group indicates even more growth on the horizon.

According to NPD’s 2020 Evolution of Entertainment report, four out of every five consumers in the U.S. have played a video game in the past six months. The cross-platform growth leans toward mobile with consoles still coming up strong as 79% of U.S. consumers are gaming. Total spend on video gaming has increased 33% this year as total time spent playing games spiked 26%. Gains are being driven by shifting consumer spend from other types of entertainment — such as movies and live events — that have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

“This year, video games is one of the most consistent growth categories in terms of overall participation and investment relative to 2019,” says Mat Piscatella, video game industry analyst for The NPD Group. “This may simply reflect an acceleration of trends that were in effect prior to the pandemic. If this is the case, then the gaming market could experience continued growth without a post-pandemic pullback. If not, however, we may see a post-pandemic valley before returning to growth. It all rests on engagement.”

The report notes that while time and spend have increased across all age groups, adults over age 45 account for the biggest gains in time and money spent on gaming.

Earlier this month, NPD reported that Q3 sales for the U.S. gaming industry hit a new record high of $11.2 billion, a 24% increase over the same period last year.

The holiday season is expected to hit additional records as Q4 sales of new systems, including Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s Playstation 5 boost numbers alongside the continued success of the Nintendo Switch.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.