With computer and video game industry hardware, software and peripheral sales hitting a whopping US$22 billion in 2008 – and entertainment software sales responsible for US$11.7 billion of that – the Entertainment Software Association and researcher The NPD Group has also found family-friendly titles topping the market.
Games with an E10+ and lower rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board accounted for more than half of all sales, according to NPD data, with 45.3% of games rated E and 12.1% rated E10+. The family entertainment category rang in as the most popular game genre with more than 19% of all sales.
The US$22 billion figure is a 22.9% increase over the previous year and the NPD found that December 2008 sales set a new record, with industry revenue broke the US$5 billion mark (US$5.3) for the first time in any single month. Industry analyst Anita Frazier says that there’s been an increase of sales by a select group of titles – the top 20 games account for 15% of total unit sales, whereas in 2006, it accounted for only 9%.
On the console software side in 2008, total US reached US$8.9 billion (189 million units), PC game sales broke US$701.4 million (29.1 million units) and portable software beat last year’s record sales with US$2.1 billion (79.5 million units) in revenue. Overall, approximately 297.6 million computer and video games were sold at retail last year.