Figures for 2022 video game industry – NPD predicts decline

An NPD analyst has said he doesn’t expect 2022 to be in 2021 in all areas of the video game industry except subscriptions.

As the global economy continues to grapple with the effects of the pandemic and war in Europe, the video game industry will feel the effects. That’s according to NPD analyst and veteran of the game industry Matt Piscatellawhich says consumer spending on “hardware, content and accessories” in the United States will fall to $55.5 billion USD (~$80 billion AUD) by 2022, down 8.7% from 2021.

The blame is being placed on world events and their impact on everyday spending – food, fuel – as well as the ongoing problems surrounding the delivery of the latest generation of consoles. There’s also the game’s 2022 release to consider, which Piscatella calls “lighter” and many gamers have come to call it “dead.” With half a year to go, only God of War seems to challenge Ragnarok and the annual Call of Duty and sports games installments Elden Ring as the biggest release of the year.

The console of the year for sale will be Switch in terms of units sold, with Piscatella saying it’s “too close to call” between the three major consoles to make money.

The predicted decline would be the first in more than three years, with the pandemic initially having a positive effect on the profitability of the gaming industry as more people stayed indoors. “The wave of video game players and engagement that the market experienced in 2020 and 2021 has leveled off, and we are now seeing more entertainment opportunities emerging vying for consumer attention and, of course, dollars,” says Piscatella — the return of cinema trips, sporting events, nights out, and so on.

Subscription spending is the only area he predicts to see growth. Microsoft’s Game Pass initiative offerings have grown over time, and PlayStation has revamped their own service in recent months. Both are an easy way to access a huge number of great games, especially older titles.

Piscatella also predicts that Elden Ring will end the year as the “best-selling premium game in the US market,” beating Call of Duty for the third time since 2009. COD will retain the franchise crown, thanks to the sale of previous titles.

Of course, as a good analyst, Piscatella also points out that there are unknown unknowns that could have a major impact on his predictions, as well as the general uncertainty of doing so. Still, he backs it up with numbers most people in the industry can guess. He also says that while short-term growth is looking down, the games industry looks very healthy in the long run.

Written by GLHF.