According to The NPD Group, in 2020, overall total consumer spending on PC Gaming hardware and accessories totaled $4.5 billion, an increase of 62% over 2019, and more than double total sales from 2017. Digital PC gaming content also experienced growth, increasing 19% to $7.5 billion.
All hardware and accessory categories experienced double-digit growth, with PC headsets, monitors, and keyboards seeing the highest growth in both dollars and units. In 2020, PC gaming accessory revenue growth exceeded that of PC gaming hardware with increases of 81% and 57% respectively.
“COVID-19 lockdown measures played a role in the growth we’re seeing in PC gaming, as consumers looked for ways to stay entertained while spending more time at home,” said Stephen Baker, NPD’s technology industry advisor. “Following a historic 2020, with multiple years of growth all happening in one year, we are forecasting 3% growth for PC gaming hardware and accessories in 2021. While we remain optimistic about the outlook for PC gaming hardware and accessories for the future, and expect the segments growth rate will exceed that of the total industry, we do not expect ongoing incremental dollar increases, but rather a plateauing of demand at these new elevated levels.”
Year-over-year growth of PC gaming has been noteworthy, thanks in large part to consumers seeking additional forms of at-home entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to NPD’s Evolution of Entertainment report, 40% of U.S. consumers played PC Games in 2020, an increase of 4% over 2019. PC gamers also increased the amount of time they spent playing games in 2020, increasing 14%.
“PC gaming is the most innovative, open and content-diverse segment in the video game industry. It is also one of the most accessible, as many households have a desktop or laptop computer,” said Mat Piscatella, video game industry analyst for The NPD Group. “Over the course of 2020, there was a significant increase in both the number of PC video game players as well as the time and money those players invested in PC gaming.”