According to a new report from the NPD Group, the third quarter of 2011 saw US gamers spend more on non-traditional business models than packaged retail goods.
As reported by Gamasutra, the NPD Group counts used games, rentals, subscriptions, digital downloads, social network games, downloadable add-ons, and mobile games as non-traditional realms. Sales in this sector reached $1.64 billion.
Meanwhile, the retail market for new, packaged games amassed $1.3 billion in sales.
Total industry spend, including hardware and accessories, was $4.2 billion dollars, an 11% decrease year-on-year. NPD Group attributes this decrease to flagging physical sales.
The NPD Group's reports are generally considered the ultimate source for US games industry sales figures. The market analysis firm has produced non-traditional sales reports for a few years now, but has come under criticism. NPD has made an effort to increase its digital data analysis tools and frequency of reporting over the course of the year.