Video Game Accessories Present a $2.3 Billion Opportunity for Retailers
According to the Entertainment Software Association’s 2019 Essential Facts report, the computer software and video game industry experienced a record-breaking year in 2018. Total video game sales exceeded $43.4 billion with an audience of more than 166 million video-game-playing adults in the U.S., according to the E3 organizer’s data. But that only tells part of the story.
As important as the games themselves are to the overall success of the industry, it’s the supporting cast of video game accessories where consumer electronics retailers stand to reap the most benefits. According to data from The NPD Group cited by a recent USA Today Tech report, the sale of video game accessories hit $2.3 billion in 2018, up 28 percent from the year before. That figure also represented the highest sales total for video game accessories since 2010—that year, the $2.4 billion total was driven by the success of Microsoft’s Kinect motion controller for the Xbox 360. According to NPD, the biggest driver of video game accessory sales for the past two years has been Sony’s DualShock Wireless controller for the PS4.
Credit: USA Today
But, again, that one product only tells part of the story.
With the recent explosion of the esports industry, the video game accessories market has become exceptionally diversified, offering retailers in the consumer electronics space more ways to tap into the space’s booming success.
A video game accessory in 2019 is far more than just a console controller, a camera attachment, or carrying case for a portable device. Rather, consumers have the option to upgrade their gaming experience in a number of ways including their computer chair of choice, keyboards, mice, gaming glasses (basically blue-light filtering glasses that can ease the strain of staring at a screen for hours on end), monitors, gaming-on-the-go cases, energy drinks made by gaming companies (yep…), and internal computer components to upgrade things like graphics performance.
But, perhaps not so surprisingly, one of the biggest drivers in the growth of video game accessories in the past few years has been the gaming headset. It makes plenty of sense—gamers undoubtedly need to immerse themselves in their experience, and one of the best ways to do that is by strapping on a pair of headphones that produce heart-pounding audio. But another aspect of the headphones themselves is equally as important in today’s gaming environment—communication. Games like the wildly-popular Fortnite put players in a battle royale setting where they work collaboratively with teammates, which makes communication crucial. You need to know where you’re teammate(s) are, what they’re doing, and so on. Gaming headsets make that possible thanks to integrated microphones, while also adding a bit of personalized flare to the experience.
So, for the consumer electronics retailer who feels the ship has sailed on their ability to tap into the esports market, we say to you, think again. There are far more ways to attract gamers and offer them something that ups their gaming experience now than there was even four or five years ago. Just like how the world of esports is challenging this notion of what traditional sporting experiences are supposed to be like, the video game accessories market has been redefined with the growth of this industry.