NPD Group

The U.S. video game industry grew 18 percent last year, according to a new report from the Entertainment Software Association with data provided by the NPD Group. December video game sales were up to cap a record-breaking $43.4 billion year-end total.

The Nintendo Switch passed Sony’s Playstation 4 to become the top-selling console, with Red Dead Redemption 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, NBA 2K19, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Mario Kart 8, and Marvel’s Spider-Man among the titles doing big business to lure gamers.

December tracked spending* across video game hardware, software, game cards, and accessories totaled $3.4 billion, up 2 percent when compared to a year ago. Gains in accessories and game card spending offset declines in hardware and software spend. This is the highest December tracked consumer spend since December 2015.

Annual spending across tracked video game hardware, software, accessories, and game cards increased 13 percent when compared to 2017, to $16.7 billion.  This is the highest annual consumer spend total since the $17.4 billion generated in 2011.

U.S. Video Game Industry Revenue 2018 2017 Growth Percentage
Hardware, including peripherals $7.5 billion $6.5 billion 15%
Software, including in-game purchases and subscriptions $35.8 billion $30.4 billion 18%
Total: $43.4 billion $36.9 billion 18%
Source: NPD Group, Sensor Tower

*Tracked spending is not meant to cover total market/total consumer spend.

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.