Gaming subscriptions make up 10% of annual US spending, in excess of $5 billion

Video game subscription services like PlayStation Plus, Xbox Game Pass, and Nintendo Switch Online help generate over $5 billion revenues in the US.

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Video game subscription services such as Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Plus account for roughly 10% of annual spending in the United States.

Gaming subscriptions make up 10% of annual US spending, in excess of $5 billion 1

Ubisoft's recent comments on subscription have sparked industry-wide discussions about services. Swen Vincke, the CEO of Baldur's Gate 3 dev Larian, warned gamers that content could suffer if subscriptions became the dominant platform.

Luckily for consumers, this won't happen any time soon. According to Circana executive director and analyst Mat Piscatella, subscription services aren't a major spending point for consumers in the United States.

"Subscription growth has flattened, and sub services on console and PC platforms accounts for only 10% of total video game content spending in the US," Piscatella wrote yesterday.

"...The idea that subs[criptions] will become dominant is unsupported by data."

With today's publication of 2023 US game spending, I asked Mr. Piscatella how the 10% figure keyed in the results. It turns out that subscriptions make about 10% of total annual US gaming revenues.

As per Circana's latest data, US consumers spent $57.18 billion on games in 2023. A quick bit of math shows that subscriptions could have made around $5.7 billion throughout 2023, in ballpark figures.

Since Circana does not track Nintendo digital data, it's likely that Nintendo Switch Online subscription revenues are not included in this data. As of December 2021, NSO had around 32 million subscribers, beating Xbox Game Pass--it's worth remembering that Switch Online can be much cheaper than XGP with plans that start at $20 per year.

Right now, subscriptions are mostly ancillary to the core bedrock of gaming revenues: Software and content sales.

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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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