NPD Group: Video Game Industry Grows In Q1 2011

The research firm NPD Group just released a new report today showing that the video game industry was actually growing in the first quarter of this year, as opposed to the stagnation that was thought to have occurred.

The report in question: Games Industry:Total Consumer Spend, notes that the NPD Group has revised their consumer spending numbers to now show that video game industry sales reached $5.9 billion in the United States, an increase of 1.5 percent over the numbers from 2010.

To get specific on the breakdown of spending, there was $2.02 billion spent on hardware and accessories, $2.03 billion spent on software (games), and $1.85 billion on “other monetization methods.”  The last category has to do with consumer money spent on downloadable content, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, and social network/ mobile games.

These are interesting and exciting figures for the gaming industry mainly because the NPD Group is finally adding the increasingly popular methods of purchasing software digitally to their total industry sales numbers, which they had not been doing previously.  This shows that the video game sector is stronger than many analysts thought due to the fact that they were not getting all the information they needed to make accurate sales projections.

“While the new physical retail channel still generates the majority of industry sales, our expanded research coverage allows us to assess the total consumer spend across the growing number of ways to acquire and experience gaming, including mobile apps and downloadable content,” said NPD’s Anita Frazier.

The increased coverage will give a more accurate assessment of the gaming sector as well as a broader understanding of what really does constitute growth in the industry. Analysts and investor will now be able to reach more educated and concrete conclusions due to the increased transparency.

While this may not seem like a big deal to most people, it’s still encouraging to see the NPD Group evolving right along with the game industry that it is covering.