$5.9 billion spent on video games in first quarter of 2011

The latest report on the state of the console, PC and video game industry in the US has been released. According to VG247.com, a new study by The NPD Group said that $5.9 billion was spent in the US in the first quarter of 2011 on the game industry. That is a small 1.5 percent sales increase from the same period a year ago.

That number includes $2.03 billion that was spent on the more traditional physical console and PC games in brick and mortal retail stores. Another $1.85 billion was spent on used games, game rentals, digital downloads of full game titles, mobile games, downloadable content items, social networking based games and game subscriptions.

Much has been made in the game industry about how other revenue streams are starting to take hold to replace lost revenue from sales of physical console and PC games. In a statement, NPD Group's Anita Frazier states:

"While the new physical retail channel still generates the majority of industry sales, our expanded research coverage allows us to assess the total consumer spend across the growing number of ways to acquire and experience gaming, including mobile apps and downloadable content."

It's likely that the number of downloadable games will continue to increase in the months and years ahead. That's likely one of the reasons why publisher Electronic Arts decided to restart its online store as Origin earlier this year and make certain games via download as exclusive to Origin such as the downloadable version of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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