In the United States, consumers spent $1.6B on video gaming in March, which is +35% y/y. According to The NPD Group, “This is the highest reported spend for a March month since the $1.8 billion achieved in March 2008. Year-to-date 2020 (Q1) tracked spending across these categories totaled $3.0 billion, declining 4 percent when compared to Q1 2019.”
This strong March performance was led by purchases of hardware (+65% y/y), such as an Xbox, PS4, or Nintendo Switch. Software sales were up +34% y/y (i.e. game IP) followed by accessories at +12% y/y (i.e. headsets).
Rob Liguori, president of Games at The NPD Group said,“While steep transaction declines are being seen across multiple industries during the pandemic, consumer spend on entertainment is strong, especially in video games.”
This week, our Senior Associate, Taylor Hurst, wrote an in-depth piece about how Roblox will be a key tenant of the evolution of streaming, consumer creativity, and user-generated content.
The future of gaming is becoming much more platform-centric instead of game-centric. The most successful companies won’t be the ones with the best games but ones that can allow for not only playing but also building games, socializing with friends, and learning.
Roblox is a great example of this as it has over 100M monthly active users and 2M developers building games on the platform. The scale they have achieved is due to gamers being able to have persistent identities across countless games where they can be themselves but play whatever and with whomever they want, seamlessly.
When looking at Roblox and how the future of gaming could play out, we believe that Roblox is positioned to be an integral piece. Two of the most important data points around why this is possible is how they have become one of the most engaging platform for the next generation (the vast majority of the ~115M MAUs being under 18 years old) of gamers and also that streaming metadata shows that Roblox offers some of the most engaging content (the quickest follow rate at one follow for every ~2 hours of watching Roblox on Twitch; Fortnite is at about ~10 hours).
What Roblox currently lacks is engaging educational content - learning how to build games. As its presence within the streaming community continues to grow, we will see viewers learning to not only build games but also build with streamers. This will allow Roblox to rollout arguably the most important part of its platform: a learning component. Click here to read the full report.
Yesterday, a video game streamer name Jack “CouRage” Dunlop raised $503,254 and donated it to the CDC’s emergency response fund for COVID-19. Jack did the charity stream because he lost his grandmother on April 15 due to illness from the virus.
In a very challenging time for so many people, it’s encouraging to see some of the largest influencers in gaming use their platforms for such a great cause. There are many others in the industry doing this same thing, but this week I wanted to highlight Jack.