Total spending on video games in the United States is expected to see a year-over-year decline, the NPD Group said in findings released Wednesday, a report that also predicts that Elden Ring will be the best-selling game in 2022. This follows an earlier report that said global spending on video games would also see a decline this year, in part based on a tough comparison to 2021, a year in which the pandemic kept people at home, playing more games and spending more money. on them.
NPD Group’s new report also contains predictions for what’s expected from the best-selling games and consoles of 2022, with Elden Ring set to be the year’s best-selling game and the Switch ending the year as the top-selling game. top-selling console.
Starting with spending, this is expected to reach $55.5 billion in 2022 in the US, down 8.7% from 2021. This figure covers spending on hardware, games and accessories.
“Some of the drivers of the decline include the return of experiential spending, higher prices in everyday expense categories such as food and fuel, uncertain supply of video game console hardware and certain accessories such as controllers. games, and a lighter games list, among others,” the NPD said.
Growth in total players and “engagement” between 2020 and 2021 – at the height of the pandemic – has now leveled off, the company said.
NPD has picked 10 games that are expected to be the best sellers for 2022, and they include (in alphabetical order): Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Elden Ring, God of War Ragnarok, Gotham Knights, Horizon: Forbidden West, Lego Star Wars : The Skywalker Saga, Madden NFL 23, NBA 2K23, Pokemon Legends: Arceus and Pokemon Scarlet/Violet.
It will be Elden Ring that ends 2022 as the top-selling game of the year, NPD said, marking only the third time since 2009 that the Call of Duty game hasn’t finished as No. 1. The other two exceptions were 2013 (GTA V) and 2018 (Red Dead Redemption II). While Elden Ring is expected to be the top-selling individual game of 2022 in the United States, the Call of Duty series will be the top-selling franchise in 2022 for its 14th consecutive year, NPD reported.
Elden Ring is already the best-selling game in the US for the past 12 months, even surpassing Call of Duty: Vanguard. According to Bandai Namco’s latest count, Elden Ring had shipped over 13 million units worldwide.
Elden Ring launched in February and Modern Warfare 2 is coming in late October, so Elden Ring will have had a lot more time in the market to rack up sales compared to Activision’s shooter series. Still, it would still be a great achievement for Elden Ring.
For hardware, the market has yet to return to normal, the NPD said, in part because of supply constraints. The PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles are “particularly” concerned here. The Switch is expected to be the best-selling console of 2022 based on units sold. However, the NPD said it’s too close to call which platform will come out on top for the year based on dollar sales between Switch, PS5 and Xbox Series X | S.
Additionally, NPD claimed that the Xbox Series X | S will be the only console platform to see dollar sales growth in 2022 compared to 2021. The research firm also said it believes console shortages will continue into 2023, especially for the PS5. and the Xbox Series X.
For games, spending on console, PC and mobile titles is expected to decline, with only subscription revenue expected to see growth this year. In terms of accessories, this category is also expected to decline, the NPD said, although spending is expected to rise from pre-pandemic levels. That said, spending on headphones and earphones won’t be able to match the strong growth during the height of the pandemic, when people were buying accessories to ease the shift to working from home.
“These are interesting times. And while generally the video game market can be at least partially insulated from factors impacting the broader economy, the return of experiential spending and rising prices in categories daily expenses seem to have an impact on the space,” says the NDP. “Continued manufacturing challenges, particularly bringing new consoles and accessories such as gamepads to market, also play a role, as does the list of lighter versions of premium gaming content.”
The company added: “There are many known unknowns when trying to predict the sequel, and a list of unknown unknowns that may be longer. In the short term, this means likely declines, uncertainty and turbulence. While long-term, the growth prospects for the video game space remain as strong as they have ever been.”
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