U.S. video game sales hit $43.4 billion in 2018, a new record

Fortnite and Nintendo helped U.S. video game sales hit their highest levels ever in 2018.


The video game industry is a financial juggernaut, and the latest data from The NPD Group highlights healthy growth in 2018. Video game sales topped $43 billion for year 2018, setting a new record. 

The NPD Group has spoken. 2018 owned.
The NPD Group has spoken. 2018 owned.

Hardware, including peripherals, saw sales of $7.5 billion in 2018, up 15% from the prior year. Software, including in-game purchases and subscriptions, did the majority of the work, totalling $35.8 billion for the year 2018. Sofware sales were up 18% from 2017. “2018 was another record setting year for the U.S. video game industry as consumer spending jumped 18 percent to over $43 billion. Whether it was playing on the go on a mobile device or at home on a PC or console, consumers of all ages and interests found compelling content that delighted in 2018,” said Mat Piscatella, video games industry analyst at The NPD Group. “Console, PC, and mobile platforms all saw significant growth, while developing portions of the market like subscription and streaming services gave us a peek into a future full of possibilities for the industry and gamers.”

“The impressive economic growth of the industry announced today parallels the growth of the industry in mainstream American culture,” said acting ESA President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis. “Across the nation, we count people of all backgrounds and stages of life among our most passionate video game players and fans. Interactive entertainment stands today as the most influential form of entertainment in America.”

Video games have surpassed the total sales of the television, movies, and music industries. It appears that there is no sign of a slowdown based on the recent data from The NPD Group. Many of the stocks of video game companies have been hit pretty hard in recent months, but hopefully today's news will be a harbinger of good things to come as we head into earnings release season. 


Asif Khan is the CEO, EIC, and majority shareholder of Shacknews. He began his career in video game journalism as a freelancer in 2001 for Tendobox.com. Asif is a CPA and was formerly an investment adviser representative. After much success in his own personal investments, he retired from his day job in financial services and is currently focused on new private investments. His favorite PC game of all time is Duke Nukem 3D, and he is an unapologetic fan of most things Nintendo. Asif first frequented the Shack when it was sCary's Shugashack to find all things Quake. When he is not immersed in investments or gaming he is a purveyor of fine electronic music. Asif also has an irrational love of Cleveland sports.

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