Video games are big business. Not quite as big as Apple in a bad quarter but still pretty big for what’s still a fairly narrow form of entertainment. American market research firm the NPD Group has crunched the numbers and video games sales managed to rack up $43.4 billion in 2018. That’s about R600 billion here at home. That’s a whole lot of video games.
Those sales numbers aren’t exclusively software, though. Hardware, which includes consoles and peripherals, accounted for $7.5 billion in sales (R104 billion), while software accounted for the remaining $35.8 billion (R500 billion or so). These totals are an increase of 15% year-on-year for gaming hardware and 18% for software.
As for the year’s big performers, Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 was the best-selling game in the States for the year, followed by Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and then NBA2K19. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Far Cry 5, Spider-Man and God of War all cracked the top ten list for the year as well.
The inclusion of Smash Bros. Ultimate on that list is particularly impressive, since it was out for less than a month in 2018 and the NPD was not tracking digital sales of the game. Not a bad showing from Nintendo’s 2018 headliner at all.
It’s worth remembering that these sales totals are for the US alone. South Africa’s contributions might be a blip on the radar but the European and Asian markets (which the NPD doesn’t track) are sure to bump up the global earnings of video games by a considerable margin as well.