Digital Game Sales Increase By 10 Percent in Q1
By Terence Keegan
The video game business is obviously amid transition, as console manufacturers plot the introduction of a new hardware generation and consumers grow more discriminating in their physical disc purchases. But the good news is that consumers are playing (and paying for) plenty of digital games, with sales of full-game and add-on content downloads, subscription services, and mobile/social games topping $1.38 billion in the first three months of 2012, according to the NPD Group.
The digital game sales figureâ€”while not enough to offset declines in physical sales during the first quarter of the yearâ€”represents a 10 percent increase from the same period in 2011, NPD reports.
Publishers have criticized NPD for placing too much emphasis on retail sales of physical discs in its game market coverage, at a time when game companies are continuously (and directly) engaging with their audience across multiple digital platforms. But the research firm has begun to break out digital sales to give publishers and service providers a â€śbroader view of the games industry.â€ť
â€śThe declines in the physical market for new physical software are well documented,â€ť says Anita Frazier, NPD games industry analyst, in a statement. However, Frazier continues, the decline is more modest in used game disc sales and disc rentals, which combined fell by five percent during the first quarter of 2012 (compared to the same period in 2011).
More on the data at the Los Angeles Times.