Spending on video games for October 2018 was up by 73 percent year-on-year. October was also the month that broke the record for the highest consumer spending since the NPD Group began recording sales in 1995. Finally the year to date ending in October 2018 saw the highest spending on video games by consumers since 2011.
Sales throughout the games industry in 2018 came in at $1.5 billion. Hardware sales saw an increase of 26 percent, which accessories and game card sales saw an increase of 54 percent, topped by software sales which increased by 104 percent.
Analysis of the data in the NPD Group’s latest report shows that the second release of the NES Classic boosted sales during June 2018. The initial run of this console not only served to boost momentum for this second release, but also the sales of the SNES Classic console.
Software sales were driven by two huge releases: Red Dead Redemption 2, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Both of these titles were highly anticipated and have been well received by fans and critics alike. With the imminent launch of Red Dead Redemption 2 Online coming this week, the game shows no sign of slowing sales anytime soon.
One segment of software that has slowed down is virtual reality. VR game sales have dropped towards the end of the year, indicating one of two things. Firstly consumers may be waiting for holiday sales in order to invest in the technology, or secondary consumers may have chosen to buy one of October’s big releases instead of a VR headset.
With only two big game launches remaining for 2018, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch, and Just Cause 4, it doesn’t seem likely than any month will live up to October in terms of revenue generated.
However, the PlayStation Classic, Sony’s mini-console, is due for release in just over a week. The unit comes with 20 classic PlayStation games, and could prove to be one of the most popular releases of the holiday season. Given the popularity of the NES and SNES Classic consoles it’s hard to see why another iconic mini-console wouldn’t sell as well.
A number of big titles are releasing within the first few months of 2019. Kingdom Hearts 3, Resident Evil 2, Anthem, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice to name some. This could impact consumer spending over Christmas, prompting them to wait for the games they want to buy instead of getting new ones over the holiday period.