Online Enabled Games See Significant Growth In North America

By Ishaan . July 2, 2010 . 12:51pm


As online-enabled games grow increasingly popular in North America, the NPD group are preparing to track and reveal related data partially to the public.


Last month, the group reported a $4.5 billion expenditure on used games, rentals, subscriptions, digital full game downloads, downloadable content, and mobile game apps. As you’ll note, the majority of those categories are reliant on online activity in some manner, and the group made note of this once again in their delayed sales report for May.


“Another measure of the increasing importance of the digital world is reflected in the percent of sales comprised by online capable games,” NPD analyst, Anita Frazier, revealed. “For May year-to-date, 43% of total software units sold were online capable, as compared to 37% for the same time frame last year.”


On a related note, for the third month in a row, the top-selling item in the “Accessory” category was the Xbox Live 1,600 point card. Sales of video game subscription cards in general were up 12%, compared to May 2009.

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  • ECM

    Err, isn’t this mistaking correlation for causation?

  • When you shoehorn online into pretty much every game, does that really count? I mean, there are games I have, where I’ve only looked at the online once or twice, and just stuck with the single player. But those would still count as online-enabled, even if that’s not why I bought them, at all.

  • Joanna

    I have to agree with Charles and ECM. That increase in online-enable games doesn’t mean online is being more popular/important/or what not. From my perspective, there are much more online-enabled games being released then before (even single player games with small online modes). So I wouldn’t tag that correlation as indicative of an increased need or want for online games. Rather this increase is just the result of more games including some online feature. Now if this analyst compared % of online gaming with offline (via survey) maybe these findings would be a bit more creditable.

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