In a recent joint release, the ESA (Entertainment Software Association) of America, Sensortower and NDP Group announced that U.S. video game spending had hit $56.6bn according to their data. ESA president, Stanley Pierre Louis stated, “This latest report underscores the video game industry’s leadership as a driving force in the U.S. economy, as well as for innovative and creative entertainment.”
The report included rankings of both PC and console games, as well as mobile. With Candy Crush Saga and Roblox being the two top earners in the latter category whilst two casino games bottomed out the top 10.
Although overall it represents a slide from Covid-era highs, video game industry advisor from NDP Group, Mat Piscatella noted, “With a highly anticipated slate of new games and the reduction or even elimination of console hardware supply constraints, 2023 could very well see the market return to growth.”
Insights from abroad
It’s unsurprising the industry saw an uptick in the latter part of the year. Although the days have arguably long passed where the Christmas period was crucial to game purchasing, it remains an important part of the sales calendar. It’s notable that the ESA remains optimistic, but their role is to promote the importance of video games to the US economy. However, as they note, although spending is down compared to the Covid period, it does remain strong. There was also significant nods given to the importance of seasonal events and other aspects.
Dennis Yeh who handles gaming insights at Sensortower noted, “The holiday season saw an expected uptick in spend across genres with the biggest month-over-month gains in December from Geolocation (Pokémon Go) up 17%, Simulation (Roblox) up 15%, Action (Genshin Impact) up 15% and Shooters (Call of Duty Mobile) up 14%. These genres are relatively top-heavy with games that could benefit from gift card usage and holiday-based live ops or events.”
It’s certainly notable that mobile receives its own category in this data. Highlighting the noteworthy nature of it in predictions going forward. Newzoo, another data analysis firm, also noted numerous trends which we broke down recently about the video game industry going into 2023.