Video game spending in 2022 has continued to decline. According to a report from the NPD Group, spending has dropped 13% in the second quarter of 2022, as compared to the same period of time last year.
Total consumer spending on video gaming in Q2 amounted to $12.35 billion, a drop of $1.71 billion as compared to Q2 2021. Non-mobile subscription spending did increase in this period, but it was the only broad spending category to increase. In fact, decreased mobile spending accounts for much of the decline, according to the report. Spending on mobile games decreased by 12%. In other categories, hardware spending decreased by 1% and accessory spending by 11%.
Most of the most popular games in this period are mobile and multiplayer staples including Among Us, Diablo Immortal, Call of Duty: Warzone, Candy Crush Saga, GTA V, Minecraft, Mario Kart 8, and Pokémon Go. Elden Ring, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, as well as The Sims 4 were all also massive titles this quarter. In terms of hardware sales, Nintendo Switch took the crown, while PlayStation 5 generated the highest dollar sales.
The report attributes the decline to a broader return to work and other public places as well as an uncertain economic environment. Increased gas prices and general inflation have made budgets tighter. There’s also less widespread obstacles of fewer new releases and ongoing hardware shortages. However, even with all these factors, spending is still above pre-pandemic levels.
The pandemic broke video game spending records and kicked off a massive period of growth for the industry. Just this year however, spending began to decline. Q1 2022 saw a similar decline and May 2022 was the industry’s worst spending month since February 2020. As the report says, the overall state of the economy will have a large impact on future months.
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