Digital purchases surpass physical software sales.
According to the NPD Group, consumers in the United States (somehow) notched up an impressive $3.5 billion spent on video games within the first quarter of 2013 itself.
NPD analyst Liam Callahan noted that, “Digital spending fully offset the declines in physical format spend in Q1’13. There is strong growth in full-game downloads and downloadable add-on content sales across consoles, PCs, and portables, up a combined 25 percent in the first quarter of this year.”
The overall spending breaks down to: $1.37 billion on physical software, $559 million on used games and rentals, and $1.49 billion on digital purchases (which encompasses DLC, mobile games and subscriptions). Revenue for the first quarter of 2012 was apparently the same, which makes the total year-over-year revenue for games the same.
It’s not at all surprising to see that digital purchases have surpassed physical software, even if it was only so slightly. With the Xbox One and PS4 announcing an emphasis on digital releases, with the former having physical copies available on the same day as digital releases, the divide will only grow wider as the year wears on.