The thriving video game industry has struggled in recent years to maintain the momentum it developed over the last decade, but according to a recent report from the NPD Group, August 2013 represents the first month for year-over-year growth in sales since October 2011. The report states that retail sales “grew a modest 1% over August 2012 as growth in software and accessories offset soft hardware sales as we near the launch of the Xbox One and PS4.”
It is important to keep in mind that the NPD Group only directly accounts for physical retail sales, but when taking into account estimates of digital sales, paid downloadable content, and rentals, the research firm believes the total consumer spend for August was more than $1.2 billion. The primary reason for the growth was an incredibly strong lineup of software, which included Madden 25, Saints Row IV, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and the accessory-heavy Disney Infinity. Software launched in August 2013 made up 58% of video game sales that month as opposed to a meek 24% in August 2012.
Predictably, hardware sales have continued to slide as the releases of the Xbox One and PS4 approach, although the 3DS and Xbox 360 remain at the top of heap. The surge in software sales is a positive sign with new hardware on the way, and might hint at a very strong 2014 for the video game industry.