John Paczkowski

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Video Game Sales Tank

knockoutIf the latest sales data are any indication, the videogame industry may be headed for a rough holiday season. NPD Group reports that revenue from consoles and software plummeted during October, falling 16.4 percent from September and 19 percent year-over-year. It was the industry’s seventh consecutive monthly decline.

“The continued economic turmoil, and in particular the troubling unemployment rate, is undoubtedly impacting industry sales,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier. “Our latest Economy Tracker indicated that although consumers’ general opinion about the economy is improving, their outlook on their own personal situation is worsening. If consumers’ personal outlook continues to erode, they could very well be much more conservative with their holiday shopping this year.”

A somber warning for the videogame industry. Even recent price cuts on game consoles have done little to spur demand.

“Year to date, the hardware category has experienced the sharpest decline in the industry, with unit sales down 10 percent compared to the same time period last year,” Frazier wrote. “Recent price cuts helped spur a one- to two-month increase in unit sales, and this month’s Wii sales reflect that boost, but the other platforms have not sustained the sales momentum after price reduction.”

The videogame industry may be recession-resistant, but it is clearly not recession-proof, as some once believed. Sales data, below.

U.S. Hardware Sales, October 2009

  1. Wii 506.9K
  2. Nintendo DS 457.6K
  3. PlayStation 3 320.6K
  4. Xbox 360 249.7K
  5. PSP 174.6K
  6. PlayStation 2 117.8K

U.S. Top Ten Software Sales, October 2009

  1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3, Sony) 537,000
  2. Wii Fit Plus (Wii, Nintendo) 441,000
  3. Borderlands (360, Take 2) 418,000
  4. Wii Sports Resort (Wii, Nintendo) 314,000
  5. NBA 2K10 (360, Take 2) 311,000
  6. Halo 3: ODST (360, Microsoft) 271,000
  7. NBA 2K10 (PS3, Take 2) 213,000
  8. Forza Motorsport 3 (360, Microsoft) 175,000
  9. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (DS, Square Enix) 169,000
  10. FIFA Soccer 10 (360, Electronic Arts) 156,000

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