The US Gaming Merchandizing Opportunities Market Report 2022 identifies gaming industry trends and statistics, consumers’ attitudes towards gaming industry marketing, and the impact of COVID-19, inflation and the Ukraine conflict on the gaming merchandize market. This report covers the gaming merchandize market size, market forecast, market segmentation and gaming industry trends and statistics for the US gaming merchandize market.

Gaming Retail: Current Market Landscape

Our global gaming landscape report shows that the gaming industry is not yet back to business as usual and COVID-19 proves to have continued impact within the US gaming market.

Our gaming retail market research shows that the vast majority of active and casual gamers alike like to purchase merchandise as a reminder of the good times they’ve had with the games they love. The most popular merchandize is apparel, thus presenting a safe bet for brands looking for an entry point. However, merchandize purchasing may become constrained, affecting the gaming merchandize market. Rising shipping and material costs may see high end merchandize passed over as consumers become more value conscious, while more affordable options remain unaffected.

Gaming Industry Marketing: Market Share and Global Gaming Trends

In spite of supply chain issues impacting the ability to purchase gaming hardware and accessories, the popularity of gaming continues to grow and is turning into a dominant force in the entertainment landscape, thus merchandizing opportunities will only continue to grow.

To battle, e.g. supply chain issues, companies are working to shift more towards cloud gaming which will make it possible to play hardware-intensive games on broader range devices, thus creating the lowest barrier to entry there has ever been in the gaming industry according to our gamers market research.

  • 80% of active console gamers like to have keepsakes of their favorite games.
  • 54% of casual gamers like to have keepsakes of their favorite games.
  • 41% of buyers are buying men’s or boy’s apparel with the intention of gifting.
  • 35% of buyers are shopping for themselves.

Gaming Industry Trends and Statistics in the Future US Gaming Merchandize Market

According to our gaming retail market research, pushing major gaming industry events into online digital engagements could either open up events for more consumer engagement, or fracture consumer awareness into publisher/platform specific walled gardens. The transition into Web 3.0 is also underway, and our global gaming landscape report predicts that going off of how Web 2.0 brought great opportunities for web operated gaming merchandize businesses, this should also start a new phase of tech-enhanced consumer goods.

On the contrary, women gamers have a more complicated relationship with gaming industry marketing than their male counterparts. Breaking away from gendered product designs and the 1980s-90s era gaming industry marketing of video gaming as specifically for male audiences may help draw more women to the gaming merchandize market, whether purchasing for themselves to proudly display or feeling comfortable asking for and receiving as a gift.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our US Gaming Market Research.

Quickly Understand

  • US gaming industry trends and statistics.
  • How are gaming companies approaching merchandizing and retail strategies?
  • How does rising inflation impact consumers and what does it mean for global gaming trends?
  • Metaverse and NFT digital merchandizing concerns as the internet begins a new evolution.
  • What are players’ shopping habits and preferences regarding gaming merchandize?
  • Attitudes toward gaming merchandizing and the gaming community.

Covered in this Report

Products: Clothing (t-shirts), gaming hardware, domestic/gaming software (Minecraft, Tetris, Wii Sports, Pokémon, Elden Ring, Horizon: Forbidden Forest, Mario, Pac-Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, Halo, Fortnite), console models (PlayStation, Wii, Xbox, Gameboy), gaming accessory, and many more.

Brands: GameStop, Crypto, blockchain, Ubisoft, Netflix, Hasbro, Amazon, Bandai Namco, FromSoftware, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sega, and more.

Expert Analysis from a Specialist in the Field

This report, written by Brian Benway, a leading analyst in the gamers market research, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the gaming merchandize market 2022, and adds expert context to the numbers.

The power of fandom that propelled Pikachu to superstardom is a force all video game brands should look to capture. As the internet evolves into Web 3.0, new opportunities and channels for merchandizing are sure to emerge; successful brands are already making moves to ensure they will be ready in the future.

Brian Benway
Brian Benway
Research Analyst – Gaming and Entertainment

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: US video game consumer spending, December 2021-February 2022
      • Figure 2: Video gaming outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Now or later: retail success
    • Crypto gamblers roll again
    • Metaverse: futureproofing by leaning in on IP
    • Key consumer insights
    • While gifting is important, many adult gamers are shopping for themselves
      • Figure 3: Interest in gaming merchandise – Personal purchase vs gifting, 2021
    • Gaming NFTs and metaverse uncertainty
      • Figure 4: Metaverse and gaming interest, by age, 2021
    • Amazon is the go-to for gaming merchandise
      • Figure 5: Overall gaming merchandise purchase location preferences, 2021
    • Women gamers happy to give gifts, but may be less happy to receive
      • Figure 6: Attitudes toward gaming merchandise – Any agree, by gender, 2021
    • Merchandise as a memento
      • Figure 7: Gaming merchandise as a symbol of fandom – Any agree, by gamer segments and devices used, 2021
  3. US Video Games Market Overview

    • Spending slowdown continues, sets the stage for potential full-year decline
      • Figure 8: US video game consumer spending, by month, February 2021-February 2022
      • Figure 9: US video game consumer spending, December 2021-February 2022
  4. Top Brands in Gaming Merchandise Sales

    • Expansion into other media drives gaming merchandise success
      • Figure 10: Select video games with billion dollar merchandising revenue compared to their game revenue
      • Figure 11: Pokémon Center official merchandise, 2022
    • Relative newcomers, like Minecraft, can find success with merchandising
      • Figure 12: J!nx Minecraft merchandise collection, 2021
  5. Market Factors

    • Positive pressure: movie releases for 2022 likely to boost merch sales
    • Negative pressure: inflation dampens hype for spending
      • Figure 13: US monthly CPI (Inflation) data, 2007-22
    • Video game brands rally to support Ukraine, while Russia eyes a black flag
      • Figure 14: Epic Games celebrates $100 million raised for Ukraine, 2022
    • Halting return to in-person events, post-COVID-19
    • One Activision Blizzard lawsuit may be settled; situation still looks messy
  6. Competitive Strategies & Market Opportunities

    • Sony’s PlayStation Plus merges with Now for June 2022 relaunch
    • GameStop rebranding for ecommerce and NFTs
    • Brands build or acquire studios to expand into gaming
  7. The Gaming Merchandise Consumer: Fast Facts

    • Gaming apparel is an easy gift purchase, but many adult gamers buy for themselves
    • NFT and metaverse skepticism looms large, overshadowing play-to-earn
    • Amazon is tops for buying gaming merch, despite in-store preferences
    • Most gamers hear about merchandise from friends or see it in stores
    • Gaming merchandise evokes fond memories, gamers are happy with what’s available
  8. Video Game Player Overview

    • Motivations for playing and gamer segments
      • Figure 15: Top reasons for playing video games – Grouped by motivations, 2021
    • Mintel gamer segments
      • Figure 16: Gamer segments (not including “other”), 2021
      • Figure 17: Motivations for gaming, by gamer segment, 2021
    • Achievers – Characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 18: Primary Achievers, by key demographics, 2021
    • Explorers – Characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 19: Primary Explorers, by key demographics, 2021
    • Socializers – Characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 20: Primary Socializers, by key demographics, 2021
    • Competitors – Characteristics and demographics
      • Figure 21: Primary Competitors, by key demographics, 2021
    • Mobile gaming’s accessibility continues to drive usage as a platform
      • Figure 22: Overall gaming device usage, 2021
      • Figure 23: Additional gaming device usage, by console players, 2021
      • Figure 24: Gaming device usage, by gamer segment, 2021
    • Most play weekly, designing for segments may improve engagement
      • Figure 25: Gaming frequency, by gamer segment, 2021
  9. Gaming Merchandise Purchase Preferences

    • Gaming apparel tops merchandising interest with a range of styles
      • Figure 26: Overall interest in gaming merchandise, 2021
      • Figure 27: Fortnite branded Balenciaga apparel designs, 2021
    • Gifting gaming merchandise is more common, but not by much
      • Figure 28: Interest in gaming merchandise – Personal purchase vs gifting, 2021
      • Figure 29: Advertising unique gaming apparel on social media, 2022
    • Gaming is so mainstream it’s rare to not have bought at least a T-shirt
      • Figure 30: Interest in gaming merchandise, by gamer segment, 2021
  10. Gaming NFTs & Metaverse Digital Merchandise

    • NFTs need better use cases and marketing to get into the mainstream
      • Figure 31: Overall gaming NFT interest, 2021
    • Interest in metaverse content slightly more hopeful than NFTs
      • Figure 32: Metaverse and gaming interest, 2021
    • Age is the key factor driving metaverse and NFT skepticism
      • Figure 33: Gaming NFT interest, by age, 2021
      • Figure 34: Metaverse and gaming interest, by age, 2021
  11. Gaming Merchandise Purchase Locations

    • Gaming-specific retailers trail behind Amazon
      • Figure 35: Overall gaming merchandise purchase location preferences, 2021
    • Despite Amazon dominance, in-store shopping is preferred
      • Figure 36: Gaming merchandise in-store and online preferences, 2021
    • Children are a powerful factor in gaming merchandise purchasing
      • Figure 37: Gaming merchandise purchase location preferences, by parental status, 2021
    • Younger gamers eschew mass merchandisers in favor of gaming-specific retailers
      • Figure 38: Gaming merchandise purchase location – Mass merchandiser and gaming-specific stores, by age, 2021
  12. Gaming Merchandise Discoverability

    • Other channels may leverage word of mouth for discoverability
      • Figure 39: Overall gaming merchandise discoverability, 2021
      • Figure 40: Official Bandai Namco store merchandise, 2022
    • Word-of-mouth marketing most useful to women gamers
      • Figure 41: Gaming merchandise discoverability, by gender and parental status, 2021
    • White and Hispanic gamers get more value from game brand accounts
      • Figure 42: Gaming merchandise discoverability, by race/Hispanic origin, 2021
  13. Attitudes toward Gaming Merchandise

    • Women gamers happy to give gifts but may be less happy to receive
      • Figure 43: Attitudes toward gaming merchandise – Any agree, by gender, 2021
    • Personal gaming memories more meaningful than fandom or community
      • Figure 44: Gaming merchandise as a symbol of fandom – Any agree, by gamer segments and devices used, 2021
    • Middle-aged gamers satisfied but also most open to new merchandise
      • Figure 45: Attitudes toward gaming merchandise – Any agree, by age, 2021
  14. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Consumer survey data
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms

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This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


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