Video game market takes 9% hit in 2012

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2012 was a year of financial polarity. For some, like Take-Two interactive with its 148% profit increase, it was a year of great growth. For others, like the studio once-known as THQ, it was a year of unfortunate failure. Despite the ends of the spectrum, NPD Group–a market research firm–has compiled a report that estimates a 9% overall in the industry’s market.

Combining figures and approximations of both physical and digital games, NPD reports that the market accrued $1.5 billion less in 2012 than it did in the prior year: falling to $14.9 from $16.34.

It’s worth noting that these numbers reflect only game sales, and that console hardware and accessories were not included in the figures.

Taking a closer look at the numbers, physical game sales dropped 22% to $8.88 billion (down from about $10.8 billion last year), while digital gaming raked in a 16% rise with $5.92 billion.

Of course, these numbers mean less to the individual studios than they do to the industry as a whole. Those in production and development will certainly be reviewing their own 2012 figures as they look ahead to 2013.

As most gamers know, the video game market of late seems to carry with it a bi-annual ebb and flow. While 2012 hosted a few hits like Assassin’s Creed IIICall of Duty: Black Ops II and Halo 4, we’re likely to see a few more big sellers in 2013. It is, after all, the year in which the next generation of consoles is rumored to be released. Add to that highly anticipated titles like Grand Theft Auto VThe Last of UsBioShock Infinite and whatever Call of Duty title is inevitably revealed, and we’ve got us a ballgame.

What do you think of the 2012 market? Was your favorite game/studio a financial success, or did it reflect the bottom-line hit? Let us know in the comments below!

Being undeniably bad at video games has never stopped Sam from loving them, and now he's covering the gaming industry daily. When he's not writing about (or playing) video games, Sam can usually be found watching past-their-prime TV shows on Netflix or reading whatever finds its way onto his Kindle. Twitter: @scnolan13 PSN/Steam: rotcerid