- Total Physical (new, used, rental) $8.88B (from $11.25B, -21%)
- Digital: $5.92B (from $5.09B, +16%)
- Total: $14.80B (from $16.34B, -9%)
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The numbers are in: Here's what Americans spent on games in 2012
The $14.8 billion spent on software in 2012 was a 9 percent decline from 2011, but the difference is more than explained by a rough year for physical, retail games. Digital sales are doing just fine.
The United States collectively spent $14.8 billion on video games in 2012. That's according to estimates from The NPD Group, which released its annual tally on Tuesday. That figure incorporates all possible spend on video game software: physical and digital, new and used, rented and permanent, full games and pieces of content. It does not, however, include hardware and accessories. While $14.8 billion is nothing to scoff at, that figure is down from a year ago: the estimate for 2011 is $16.34 billion, meaning that Americans spent 9 percent less in 2012. That entire $1.54 billion difference is more than explained by 2012's rough year for physical, boxed games, which saw a 22 percent -- or $2.03 billion -- decline in 2012. Digital sales are on the rise -- up 16 percent from $5.09 billion to $5.92 billion -- but it wasn't enough to make up for retail's performance in a rough transitional year. The following numbers were provided by the NPD Group as part of its "2012 Games Market Dynamics: U.S." report: