US players spent less money on video games now than they did last year

Magic spells in Elden Ring.
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • According to the NPD Group, spending on video games has fallen compared to 2021.
  • Spending for Q2 2022 reached $12.35 billion in the U.S, a decline of $1.78 billion compared to Q2 2021. 
  • The NPD Group cited a lack of new game releases and the rising costs of necessities like food and gas as some of the reasons for the decline in spending. 

Players in the U.S. are spending less money on video games compared to last year, according to a report from the NPD Group. 

The NPD Group shared (opens in new tab) a report on Q2 2022 spending across the video game industry in the U.S, revealing that spending reached $12.35 billion for the quarter, a drop of $1.78 billion compared to 2021.

“Higher prices in everyday spending categories such as food and gas, the return of experiential spending such as travel and attending live events, a lighter release slate of new games, and continued new generation console hardware supply constraints were all likely contributors to the decline seen in the second quarter,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group. 

Video game publishers have been sharing news of declines via recent financial results. Activision Blizzard's Q2 earnings fell to $1.61 billion for the quarter, down from $2.29 billion in 2021, primarily due to lower engagement with Call of Duty. Microsoft and Sony both reported slight drops for Xbox and PlayStation content respectively, primarily driven by lower engagement and game sales.

Piscatella added that “After a period of sustained growth, consumer spending continues to trend above pre-pandemic levels. However, unpredictable and quickly changing conditions may continue to impact the market in unexpected ways in the coming quarters.”

According to the NPD Group's June 2022 report, the best-selling game of the year so far for the U.S is Elden Ring, followed by LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and Pokémon Legends Arceus.

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.