It doesn't come as a huge surprise, but the trend of people spending less and less money on all things gaming is set to continue for the rest of the year. This is according to the US-based NPD group, which points the finger at increased living costs, and the fact that people are becoming more active again now that pandemic restrictions have lessened.
The NPD group has reported serial declines in consumer spending in every month of 2022 so far — and it doesn't see this trend changing anytime soon. Compared to 2021's spending of $60.8 billion, 2022's looking at a projected $55.5 billion, which would be a fairly significant dip.
Of course, continued hardware stock issues are also a factor that can't be ignored. Demand for the PS5 is still sky high, and Sony can't produce enough consoles to keep up, even as we close in on the system's second birthday.
When you put everything together, it's easy to see why people aren't spending as much of their money on video games — but it's still a trend that the industry will want to see reversed sooner rather than later.
Interestingly, the NPD report says that the only aspect of gaming spend that's expected to see growth is subscriptions. Again, it makes sense. For a lot of people, coughing up for a PS Plus subscription and gaining access to a huge catalogue of games is going to seem like a much better deal than dumping a full $70 on the latest PS5 blockbuster.
Are you at all surprised by this report? Try to save some money in the comments section below.
[source npd.com, via gamesindustry.biz]
maybe raising the price of games to 70usd wasnt such a smart idea innit
@Irae Not really, it's more to do with the expected dips after the pandemic. Less to do with actual game prices.
I would think it would decline everywhere if that is the case. US June inflation was about the same as the EU June inflation (actually a hair lower.) Other countries are doing even worse.
Is "gaming spend" some kind of British phrase or what's going there?
Anyway I know I've definitely cut back on game related spending. The free upgrade to Plus Premium for a year or so has definitely helped. I think there might only be like two games for rest of year I'm trying to get at launch.
I maintain that there is no other type of entertainment you can purchase at the price point of $70 that provides a similar amount of engagement.
People are able to get 100+ hours of play out of the majority of $70 dollar games.
Nothing else even approaches that type of bang for buck.
@GreatAuk I definitely liked 60 more but I'm inclined to agree... 70 isn't that bad comparatively.
Gamepass and ps now also decrease game spending. I know many ppl who just sub to Gamepass or ps plus premium and don't buy games outside those services anymore.
I invested in growing my backlog when times were good and have hours of fun ahead of me. Whether the zombie apocalypse comes or the Communists invade, I'll have the last laugh.
People forget this.
$70 even for 20 hours is a better value compared to other things
That is true. Especially with some of the stuff coming to these services. Xbox users get access to Persona 5 Royal for as little as $10 a month if you don't get Ultimate. That game could potentially keep people from spending more money for well over a few months for example.
Inflation, like the chip shortage, stands to be another sizeable, unforeseen influence over this generation of consoles. Xbox and Switch are better positioned with their multiple SKUs/price points.
@The_Moose I’d welcome the communists invading (not sure exactly where from) at this point. There’s security tags on cheddar, fuel’s too expensive, the world’s doomed but let’s ask people how much they spend on games!
@nessisonett maybe you can make friends waiting on line to collect your ration of government bread and toilet paper!
You see, there ARE positives to communism!
@zupertramp Tell me that next time when games go up to 100$ or 120$ for a standard copy.
Good , i hope it hit em where it hurts ; $70 for a damn game , are you serious ? 😂👎
@commentlife You already forgot PS5 has 2 SKU's as well?
@GreatAuk You mean like a food bank? Of which there’s one across the road from me?
@nessisonett Wow! I know times are tough but things must be really bad if there's security tags on your cheese up in Scotland.
Besides the UK currently has the highest tax burden in 70 years. It seems the Communists have already invaded.
America is in a depressing place right now.
Does this mean that scalpers will have a harder time selling PS5s? I hope so because then they’ll most likely discount it so low that it will not be worth it for them and put them off bulk buying the next lot.
If games cost too much for you there are game rental services out there, I use Boomerang Rentals here in the UK. In the US they have GameFly.
@zupertramp i agree as well , $80 ain’t that bad …
@GreatAuk but when you think about other things you could get for $70 it’s a different story
First of all, $70 isn't £70. So for all you lucky Americans getting games on the cheap, us Brits are essentially bearing the brunt of Sony's massive price hike.
It's true, I definitely spend more of my gaming money on game sales and significantly less day 1 purchases than usual. The cost of living crisis isn't going anywhere and this is something gaming companies are going to have to think very hardly about. I need to pay my electricity bill before I can game for example...
@Nepp67 games are essentially $100 with exchange rates in the UK and EU at £70 and €80. That's a massive part of the problem.
My gaming spend would be higher if more quality games in my taste range were coming out. This year is probably the lowest amount I’ve spent on games in almost 20 years. In July, I have only two preorders the rest of the year. It feels wrong!
More reason why a cheap subscription service would be ideal right now and Sony and Microsoft realise that, only problem with current subscription services is that the big AAA game skip them and are currently bloated with indies so they aren't really helping people save.
Best option for me though is using a gaming rental subscription which I pay £30 a month for 4 games at a time including new releases, I've saved thousands over the last 7-8 years, so if people are struggling financially then I'd reccomend looking into that.
This is no surprise. I predicted this months ago. Eating out and entertainment are the first things on the chopping block as prices for everything continue to increase.
@nessisonett In capitalism, there are winners and losers, in communism we're all losers.
Capitalism has problems but it's the best system there is. More people have been lifted out of poverty under this system than at any other point in history.
Honestly with what’s going on with the economic climate currently happening worldwide, it’s made me more selective in what games to invest in. I’ll happily continue to chip away at my backlog until GOW Ragnarok comes out.
@AdamNovice I disagree. Consumer Price Index inflation is at a record high. In the U.S. right now it cost upwards of $80 to gas up small cars. Games even being slightly more expensive will push them to the wayside indefinitely.
@GreatAuk It’s very easy to tell an American.
@UltimateOtaku91 if you don’t mind me asking, what service do you use? Sounds pretty appealing right now!
@GreatAuk I think making upwards of seven figures, while your underpaid employees barely scrape by might define whether or not you're a winner or loser.
@pip_muzz Don't forget American prices don't include tax while usually in Europe the price shown includes taxes, VAT or whatever else your government slaps on top of the game cost.
@mrtennis1990 bare in mind it's a UK site, I use BoomerangRentals
Priority 4 package which includes playstation 5 games and new releases but I believe you can only start on a lower package at first then after a few months you can raise the package. Also if you like a game you are renting you can pay to keep the game and they send out the game case to you. Sometimes their keep game prices are cheap, Im currently renting Yoshi Crafted World and can keep it for £16.99
@Choppaz .this is an extreme example and there have always been very rich people on Earth. For most of humanity's history there was the 0.1% that were rich and basically everyone else was dirt poor.
That changed with the Industrial Revolution and Capitalism.
I do agree that the top makes too much money compared to regular workers, but usually that wealth comes in compensation packages like stock.
Most extreme rich like Musk and Besos have most of their money in stock and other illiquid assets.
And this is a surprise to whom, exactly? Some of us were pointing this out back when Sony announced their price increase even before "rising stagflation" turned into partying like it's 1979.
@nessisonett Actually my family are immigrants from Greece! Ha. They came to the US in the 1960s.
I've been to Europe 20 times over my life. There are problems in all systems, but I wouldn't trade capitalism for socialism or communism because I'm just old enough to know and remember what comes with those systems.
I said capitalism has issues, but there's nothing better to replace it.
The fact that Microsoft is offering a subscription service so good that eliminates the need of buying games may also have something to do with it
In other breaking news, water is wet
With a PS plus premium (prob downgrade tonextra when it runs out) and free weekly epic store games my backlog has grown so much that I probably never need to spend money on another game again.
Well duh. Inflation is rough and I’ve certainly cut down on my game spending. Just Xenoblade 3 and the Klonoa collection for actual purchases for the foreseeable future.
Gamepass has basically got me covered on other stuff.
To be honest, I havent bought a full priced game in about a year and all the games I have bought have been 50-60% off. I just can't justify the new price of games with inflation
Imo £70 for a game of 20 + hours isnt so bad, especially when you can trade that physical copy in for some return. I mean aome people spend £140 a week to fill their lungs up with toxin's so i know what id rather spend my money on.
Thanks Biden for the increase in everything
@Rmg0731 it’s just not Biden fault for increase in price it’s corporate greed fault.
How will this affect the poor souls that are scalpers? We need to set up a charity for them now before they wilt.
@pip_muzz it's $70 plus somewhere between 8%-10% in tax for us in the states. And true the pound is worth more but all that means is you get paid in money that's worth more.
@Rmg0731 He must wield more power than any president in history since inflation isn’t just a US problem, but a global one. Or are you only blaming him for US inflation and the rest of the world just happens to be dealing with exactly the same issues ?
And in other breaking ‘news’ - the sky is blue. Seriously though if you’re sensible with the types of games you buy and look for sales (I’m not as thorough in that area as I should be) and / or go in for the Game Pass / PS Plus models I honestly believe gaming is a very reasonably priced pastime. I don’t go down the pub and rarely eat in restaurants or buy takeaway food / coffee etc.
Look at gaming vs cinema - couple of tickets to the cinema (excluding parking and food) basically buys you a triple A title (after it’s been out for a while and reduced in price) that’s generally good for 20 hours plus entertainment (and probably has a resale value after at 25-50% if you’re son inclined). It’s a damn good value hobby and always has been.
Removed - unconstructive
I mean it makes sense really. Everything is getting more expensive, so there's less "luxury" money going around to spend on games.
I think services like PS Plus and free to play games are going to be very important over the next few years.
Can’t believe people still defend the price increases around here, really sad. I said something similar to this report when Sony announced their price increase, that was during covid when people were losing their jobs, it’s gotten even worse since then. With the price of living sky rocketing people are gonna have less money for games.
@GreatAuk smart guy in regards to communism. Nice to see some sense on here.
Whilst i dont doubt inflation, cost of living, and price increases on some games (lets be fair, a lot of studios still charge less than £70) are having an impact, i think a big contributor is that this feels like one of the slowest periods in years for new releases.
I've not bought a new game since Horizon Forbidden West in February, and am unlikely to rush out for anything else until crisis core, hogwarts, or god of war come out. Its very very slow at the moment. We are now feeling the impact of COVID on production cycles.
That said im in no rush to give Sony more money after my launch PS5 broke after only 18 months and i had to buy a replacement - i look after my stuff and have never had a Sony item break before - very disappointing.
@UltimateOtaku91 thanks for the response!
@GreatAuk Hahahahahhh... The typical American boy speech... You clearly don't know the world beyond your idealized walls. I live the social inequality caused by the uncontrollable hunger of capitalism has never been greater! You're just another boy who keeps repeating ready-made words without meaning because he's not able to think on his own.
Non-Nintendo gaming after March seems to have dropped off a cliff in terms of a consistent release lineup so I'd imagine that's also a factor. Switch has been drowning in games all year and that's looking to continue in the 2nd half but PS is looking rather light until September and Xbox is even more light.
In Sony's case they only have themselves to blame. I've gone from buying all their first party games day one, when they were £40-45, to not buying any since Ratchet and Clank. It's not even that I can't afford it, I just feel like a mug paying that much for games, especially in the current economic climate.
I've moved on to some retro games and switch back log for the time being. Haven't even turned the PS5 on since finishing the trophies for elden ring. I might come back when I can find games for a more reasonable price, but I only see Sony pushing on further away from what I want out of the hobby. In two years Returnal is the only Sony exclusive I've been genuinely excited and thrilled by. I expected much more to be honest.
@The_Moose "Besides the UK currently has the highest tax burden in 70 years. It seems the Communists have already invaded."
We've literally been run by neo-Liberal capitalists for the past 40 years.
A bike fall meme with the capitalist rider going "bloody communists!" would go really well here.
I'm not personally being hit hard by the economic trends, but still feel the urge to start being a lot more frugal with my spending. Gaming is one big thing I'm cutting back on big time.
I have a huge backlog of games I could had bought at discount way after their launch. I now need to **really** want something very badly to buy it day one, but I feel other than Nintendo I don't trust anyone to release a game without major bugs, so at least for the year going forward, I'll be waiting for sales months after release, by then, any major bugs are fixed.
@GreatAuk good man. Don’t mind all the responses. Smart thinking is smart thinking. I’ve bet you’ve made it far in life being grateful for things rather than blaming a system for an outcome.
Some of these comments are like stepping into the DailyMail... anyways, while I'm fortunate enough to be able to buy any game I want day one at full price, I know my limits. I'm paying for a game that I expect to return to overtime versus the subscription model caters more to those who are fine with playing a game once and being done and over with it.
The $10 increase seemed fine to me since we were fortunate enough to not have the expected $10 increase during the PS4 generation. $40 for a new PS1, $50 for PS2, $60 PS3... not to mention the inflation, we could've been at $80 now if the record kept going.
But... we're getting games less frequently now and it seems like with the subscription model being the most economic sense we might be seeing more games in a smaller scale or larger titles less frequently since the $70 was meant to even out the developer's work more so versus Microsoft's money making up the loss for developers. I'm not feeling so optimistic with either outcome. Maybe games should revert back to $60 or less since Nintendo & Xbox are going to remain that price as an edge over Sony.
@GreatAuk thanks for your very informed replies. Great to see another pov on it.
There are too many expenses in life to drop $70 on all the games i want to buy, there are too many lol. I always wait about a year after release for a sale or price drop and sell the game afterwards to get some money back to make my hobby as least expensive as possible, so many games are released with bugs so it's better to wait anyways.
It's hard to judge if the current subscription services are going to be the future when the companies are so coy about how much money they are making. Are gamepass or the new ps tiers even breaking even?
Pretty sure every hobby is seeing a drop in revenue. Except maybe cheap hobbies. Sleeping. Sleeping is free. I’m gonna do more of that.
At the end of the last decade and the beginning of the current one (202X) the video game industry was enjoying great success by exploring the power of hyping games. We had great events and flashy game reveals. On the top of that there was the excitement for the reveal of the next-gen consoles and all the amazing games that will come with them. The apex of this hyping epoch was the stream for the PlayStation 5 reveal (June 11, 2020). By the way, I am not saying 'hype' with a judgemental or critical tone, I loved to live that time and I loved that the industry was enjoying a amazing period.
This period had come to an end with the release of Cyberpunk 2077 though, one of the most hyped games of all time and that had a disastrous launch. The disbelief caused by the Cyberpunk 2077 launch revoked from the industry that driving force of hype. And then came the effects of the covid pandemics, as a second wave. Production chains was disrupted making getting a new gen console a painful ordeal, and painful ordeals is not a good tone for a entertainment based industry. The developing of new games was also affected making reveals and releases sparser. Those factors and others made the industry lose its luster. Yes, life is tougher and this is also a important factor, it is hard to spend a good time playing video game if people are worried about how the next day or month will be and if their well being is not good.
But the beauty of video game, which seems to be forgotten, is that it is not only a industry but also a form of art, and as an art it should be able to read and feel the times that we are living and offer experiences that are able to give us new perspectives and revitalize our spirits. Take for example the new Top Gun movie, it gave us fresh perspectives and reached an enourmous success. The video game industry needs something like what Top Gun made for movies in 2022.
And I think the video game industry should dare to hype games again, take pride in their work, release games that are ground breaking and that we can feel as something really new and different. CD Projekt Red would do the industry a huge favor if they manage to fix Cyberpunk 2077. They should stop fuc***ing around and get this thing done and delivered. Third person camera with good character animation! Multiplayer/online mode! An expansion that make Night City a living thing and the star of the show, as it should have always be! Go full blown GTA Online and you will be glad that you did.
Starfield also have the potential to be something special. Bethesda should work very hard to deliver it! The PlayStation Studios should also work hard to deliver us something special. Bluepoint! Housemarque! Sucker Punch! They should make us all excited for their next projects and they can't drop the ball on them! I think the game industry can turn this bad tide around in 2023. But they must be bold and go all in.
@Richnj Ok....I don't understand your point.
We certainly haven't been run well for the last 40 years with an expanding welfare state making more and more people rely on government handouts and subsidising inefficient industries.
That's a failing on politicians.
My point was we have the highest tax burden in 70 years, in those years high taxes were most synonymous with socialist governments of the time.
Increasing the price of games was a terrible move by Sony, and they only did it through pure greed
@Rob_230 That's pretty stiff/rotten luck...reminds me of when my launch model ps3,($1000 down under),packed it in after 14/15 months & didn't have the consumer protection laws we have down under now!). With my old pc being a bit iffy,had to sink $$ towards a new one rather than a ps5
Even putting aside the availability issues,given Jim Ryan's penny pinching upgrades,lacklustre attitude towards legacy games access,& focus on eg $125 Last of Us ps5 remaster & more live service games vs mid range price points during the ps4 era like for the ps4 Last of Us remaster,& ps4 Ratchet & Clank etc.,his leadership at a time when competition is a lot tighter comes across as increasingly tone deaf & reactive rather than proactive.🤔
@Robocod Oof that launch PS3 was the kitchen sink model too wasn't it, with the PS2 playback and all the extra ports etc. Sorry that happened 😔
Yeah i was pretty annoyed. The infamous cooling for PS5 clearly wasnt working in my launch model as i think the system was overheating and shutting down after an hour of use. Being out of warranty, Sony wanted £240 to fix it and only offer a 3 month warranty on repairs, so i decided to take the plunge on a new one as at least i got a full year's cover.
Yeah i think Sony need to take a long hard look at themselves, particularly in the current climate. I dont in of itself have an issue with the games going up in price as they usually drop fairly quickly, and if you shop around can get them 10-15 pounds cheaper - but if Sony want to take the steps they are, then i think they need to present themselves in a much more customer friendly light rather than being so aloof and cold.
@Rob_230 Yep,that was the one! Also a lovely surprise a week or so from launch finding out the PAL/EU models went from full hardware ps2 compatibility to a hybrid software/hw one! 🤯Can laugh now,but ended being a day 1 ps3 slim owner...still working & my last working link for the PS3 RDR/Undead Nightmare,God of War 1 & 2 HD, Suikoden 1 & 2,Blood Omen Legacy of Kain & others! 👍
Agreed,feel like you need to read the fine print when it comes to a lot of the announcements these days. Current management seem to be taking a very Nintendo like attitude & expecting the hardcore will buy regardless....there's definite room for improvement. 🤔
@nessisonett do you think it's worth pointing out to @GreatAuk how much better Nordic countries are doing under Democratic Socialism versus our Conservative and Unionist Party's austerity policies that have resulted in one of the largest tax burdens in the world, rampant inequality which UN special rapporteurs have described as human rights violations, and the most corruption the UK has ever seen?
@The_Moose But socialist and communist policies are the exact opposite of neolib capitalist ideas. From Thatcher through to Boris (that includes both sides), we have had neolib leaders. They didn't expand or maintain socialist policies because they were communists. That kind of thinking makes zero sense. So if we have neolib leaders, how can we also have had an expansion of welfare as you claim?
They do it because they are the only thing keeping the country from collapsing under neolib policies. When businesses refuse to pay people the kind of wages they need to survive, the choices are 1) find the money elsewhere (the state) or 2) die. And since people dying from starvation en mass is both a bad look for the Government and bad for the companies that rely on those people, Governments kind of have to step in and help.
You can pass the blame off all you want, but that just maintains the current system. You're choices are 1) blindly blame communism until neolib capitalism collapses under its own weight, and it is potentially replaced by full communism, or 2) stop demonising the state's role in managaing society and find a balance of the two systems, like Social Democracy.
"So if we have neolib leaders, how can we also have had an expansion of welfare as you claim?"
Welfare is an enormous spend for the government. The tax credit scheme which prevents employers from having to pay competitive wages whilst making people reliant on them and this continuing to vote for the party that feeds them.
There are so many other things that can be done but no politicians would dare confront these issues as there is too much money being made by certain groups.
We have high VAT which is a regressive tax which effects the poor more than anyone, constant and largely unchecked immigration which keeps wages flat, an NHS which has more and more money thrown at it every year with no improvement. All these things are having an adverse effect on the poor and coupled up with rampant COVID spending has led to inflation.
Whenever the state gets involved in most things, they usually get way worse. Look how quickly during COVID the food shortages in shops were resolved by private companies, yet the NHS is still in a mess.
By the way adding the word "social" before another word doesn't mean anything. Democracy is democracy.
@theheadofabroom No Nordic Country operates under Democratic Socialism.
@The_Moose An opinion piece in an American publication by a Conservative commentator? You're going to have to try harder.
It's widely acknowledged that they're Social Democracies and I have multiple friends who live in Denmark, Sweden, Norway who either moved there, or returned there after spending years in the UK, specifically because of Socialist welfare policies and more representative democratic systems.
Try harder? How about words of the former Danish PM, will they suffice?
Also you said Democratic Socialist in your earlier post and are now saying social democracy. They're both very different. In fact adding the word "social" before something doesn't really make any difference to it. Democracy is a democracy and states which have taken up the mantle of socialism are never democratic in practice.
Also welfare policies are socialist by and large but the country employing them doesn't have to be a socialist country. The NHS is a socialist policy but the UK isn't socialist.
More representative democratic systems? There's good and bad to all different electoral systems. That's a very subjective meaning which doesn't really hold up.
Also the personal debt levels of individuals to GDP are much higher in the Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Not something to boast about.
@The_Moose "By the way adding the word "social" before another word doesn't mean anything. Democracy is democracy."
By this logic, it's impossible for communism to have invaded the UK, since we are a democracy with a market economy.
A Social Democracy is literally just a market economy with stronger social safety nets to prevent undue suffering. You are essentialising the terms to avoid any kind of nuance or criticism of capitalism.
@Richnj Full blown communism is not here. But we're seeing more and socialist policies coming from the government. They're certainly not a Conservative party in the traditional sense.
People keep fighting over what 19th century label is the cause of problems, but realistically, all the systems are equally capable and benevolent so long as the social, economic, and resource model is stable to allow for it. All of the models don't really work on a large scale, whether a commune or a market, they work their best in small scale.
What we have is neither a free market (there's no such thing as "Capitalism" - it's a pejorative for free market economics coined by Marx based on his not entirely inaccurate critique of the "capital class" in a free market), nor is it a commune. Both western laisez faire free markets and eastern communism have merged into what most closely resembles a hybrid system of oligarchy, aristocracy, and neo-feudalism expanded on a planetary scale. "Globalism" replaced the individual market ideologies, quietly and rapidly to form this.
Ultimately, though the systems themselves aren't directly the problem so much as a combination of overpopulation rendering each individual of little value unless of exceptional ability, combined with an obsession with efficiency rendering reduced need for labor, except for the most talented or the least rewarded, exacerbating that effect. Free markets, and communism both thrive primarily in inefficiency creating synthetic opportunity for additional labor, competition, or new markets/sectors. Our modern obsession with efficiency has reduced nearly all inefficiency, stifling the vast middle ground that forms the basis for both economic models, and polarizing it to the extremes. And the meritocracy has made survival of the fittest the lay of the land, where only those gifted or supremely talented by nature have particular value. And add in the issue of waste and overutilization of resources, required reduction, translating to a soft-sell of the idea that surviving on bare minimum is what most of the population is fit for otherwise it all collapses....and here we are. Of course simply by owning a video games console, we're all inherently part of said wastefulness. Maybe "play to earn" becomes a synthetic replacement for desperately needed inefficiency.
It's a cycle that's happened before, and historically it's only been resolved by war, famine, or plague drastically and suddenly reducing the population. Then the cycle just starts again. Over and over. Every golden age of shared prosperity has really resulted from a collapse and extreme loss of population. The 1950's following WWII, the Renaissance following the Black Death, etc. Only with technology, the cycle of rise and fall seems to be accelerated tremendously. The population grows faster, consumes faster, then collapses faster than before.
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