U.S. video game spending stagnated in 2023, totaling $57.2B

U.S. consumers spent $57.2 billion on video games in 2023 according to a new report from the Entertainment Software Association and Circana. This figure includes all game content, DLC, microtransactions, subscriptions, hardware and accessories.

“These figures reinforce the position of the video game industry as a growth engine for the United States economy,” said ESA President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis. “When combined with the fact that nearly two-thirds of Americans play video games regularly, cutting across all demographics and backgrounds, these results confirm the video game industry’s impact as an economic and creative powerhouse with far-reaching cultural influence.”

This $57.2 billion total is up 1% from 2022’s spending total of $56.6 billion, indicating marginal growth for the sector. This sum is still below 2021’s $60.4 billion total, which was fueled by the pandemic.

Hardware sales held steady, accounting for $6.6 billion or 11.5% of all U.S. consumer spending on video games. Meanwhile, gaming accessories grew 4% to $2.6 billion, accounting for 4.5% of the consumer spending total.

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Content is king

The vast majority of consumer spending — $48.0 billion or 84% — went towards content. This includes physical and digital full-game sales, downloadable content/microtransactions and subscriptions. Content spend saw modest 1% growth from 2022’s $47.5 billion total. These marginal gains were driven by a 13% increase in digital download spending across consoles and an 11% increase in digital premium download segments on PC, cloud and non-console VR platforms.

“Great content is what drives the video game market, and 2023’s release slate was one of the best in industry history,” said Mat Piscatella, executive director, video games at Circana. “While mobile, console and PC platforms remain the way most people engage with gaming today, new technologies are expanding the ways people can play. The future continues to be very bright.”

According to Circana, the top selling console and PC games in the U.S. in 2023 were Hogwarts Legacy, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Madden NFL 24. Meanwhile, Monopoly Go!, Candy Crush Saga and Roblox were the top grossing mobile games per Sensor Tower data.

Top Games in the United States in 2023  
Console & PC Full Game – Top Grossing   Mobile – Top Grossing*  
Rank   Title   Rank   Title  
1   Hogwarts Legacy     1   MONOPOLY GO!  
2   Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2023)   2   Candy Crush Saga  
3   Madden NFL 24    3   Roblox  
4   Marvel’s Spider-Man 2   4   Royal Match  
5   The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom**   5   Coin Master  
6   Diablo IV     6   Pokémon GO  
7   Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)   7   Gardenscapes  
8   Mortal Kombat 1     8   Jackpot Party – Casino Slots  
9   Star Wars: Jedi: Survivor     9   Township  
10   EA Sports FC 24     10   Evony  
* Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower
**Digital Sales not included   
Note: Inclusion of digital sales in the best-selling title charts is done at the discretion of the participating publisher.  

With content accounting for the vast majority of consumer spend, 2024’s release calendar will be critical to driving growth. However, hardware spending might get a bump if Nintendo’s Switch successor debuts in 2024. If not, hardware spend might decline due to saturation of the current console generation.

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