Video-Game Revenues Slow, Fewer Airings For National TV Marketers

Against tough comparisons to the year-ago pandemic period -- when virtually all at-home media took off --  all video-game revenue inched up just 2% to $14 billion for Q2, according to The NPD Group.

A year ago, the second three months of 2020 witnessed a 47% jump in revenue over 2019 -- all due to rising at-home workers, students and other consumers amidst the pandemic.

At the same time, the number of national TV ads for video games dropped to 13,114 national TV airings (resulting in 2.0 billion impressions) from 18,199 airings producing 2.8 billion impressions, according to

National TV spending over that period was virtually flat year to year -- $15.6 million for the second quarter of 2021 from $15.7 million for second-quarter 2020.

While video-game subscription content revenue still grew by double-digit percentages -- with hardware also 12% higher -- video-game accessories dropped by double digits: down 11% -- and console content also dipped.



NPD Group notes that data from Sensor Tower shows U.S. consumer spending in mobile games in the second quarter grew 5% versus the same period in 2020.

Best-selling and most-played games in 2021 to date are: “Among Us”: “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War,” “Call of Duty: Warzone,” “Candy Crush Saga,” “Candy Crush Soda Saga,” “Clash of Clans,” “Coin Master,” “Fortnite” and “Garena Free Fire.”

For the first six months, 2020 had video-game software sales pegged at $3.0 billion (up from $2.5 billion over 2019); accessories/game cards, $1.98 billion ($1.7 billion, in 2019); and hardware, $1.6 billion ($1.3 billion, 2019).

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