The NPD Group has published a few new reports that look into the performance of the video game industry in the U.S. for 2017. It was a good year for gaming hardware and software makers with significant growth: total revenue in the industry hit $36 billion for the year. That $36 billion number represents growth of 18% compared to 2016. The figures combine hardware revenue (including peripherals) and software sales (including both physical, digital sales and subscriptions).
"The spectacular growth of our industry in 2017 proves video game developers, artists, and storytellers are the brightest lights in the US economy, finding more ways to delight the world’s 2.6 billion gamers each year," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, which represents the US video game industry. "Congratulations to our industry’s brilliant creators on delivering another record year of remarkable entertainment that inspired the passion of gamers everywhere."
Looking at the numbers in a bit more detail, NPD shows that hardware sales including peripherals reached $6.9 billion during 2017 for 19% growth. Software sales with in-game purchases and subscriptions included totaled $29.1 billion, accounting for 18% growth compared to the previous year. The data NPD uses for mobile games with Google Play and the App Store was gathered from App Annie.
"2017 was a special year for the industry, and for everyone who loves games," said Mat Piscatella, The NPD Group’s video game industry analyst. "Developers created content that delighted gamers across all gaming platforms. From mobile to PC, and from console to virtual reality, growth was achieved because the passion of gamers was matched only by the talent of game makers."
NPD Group also offered up some details on which game system topped the sales charts for December, and it was the Nintendo Switch. For the month of December, the Switch sold 1.5 million units during the five-week reporting period for the month. With the December sales numbers figured in, Nintendo sold 4.8 million units in the 10 months since it launched. NPD says that makes the Nintendo Switch the fastest-selling home console in U.S. history.