Computer and video game software sales reached $9.5 billion in 2007, 28% over the previous year, and set a new record according to final data compiled by the NPD Group and announced today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). The industry's economic impact is illustrated further through data showing that Halo 3, the best-selling title of 2007, took in more revenue in its first day of sales than the biggest opening weekend ever for a movie (Spider-Man 3) and the final Harry Potter book's first day sales.
"The video game industry set the pace over all others in 2007, with record-breaking sales, off-the-charts consumer demand, and innovation reaching from galactic exploration to guitar simulation," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, the U.S. association representing computer and video game software publishers. "On average, an astonishing 9 games were sold every second of every day of the year." The ESA cited data showing that the industry sold over 13.4 million portable game units in 2007, easily trumping the much-hyped Apple iPhone, which sold just 8 million units.
According to the data compiled by the NPD Group, overall U.S. video game console software sales reached $6.6 billion (153.9 million units), computer games sales were $910.7 million (36.4 million units), and a record $2.0 billion (77.5 million units) in portable software sales. In terms of total units sold, approximately 267.8 million computer and video games were sold in 2007.
"Expansion was an overarching theme for the industry last year – from the types of games sold to the people who bought them," said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group. "NPD's consumer demographic data verifies that two non-traditional consumer groups grew over-proportionately to the whole: females and individuals over the ages of 35."
Interestingly, the NPD Group's data indicates that, in unit sales, only 15.5% of games sold last year were rated "Mature (M)," as compared to the 56.5% of games sold rated "Everyone 10+" or lower and the 28% of games that were rated "Teen (T)." Also, one of the largest genres growing was "Family Entertainment," which grew 110% (17.2% of all games sold in 2007, up from 9.1% in 2006). "This is clearly an industry strongly rooted in family-friendly entertainment, and not on Mature-rated titles," noted Gallagher.