NPD Group reports total US game-related sales down by 20 percent year-over-year; software sales still suffer from previous dearth of major new releases.
Plummeting hardware sales are leading the NPD Group's downward slant of US gaming industry figures, with August's $515.6 million in total sales down by 20 percent year-over-year, the same decline observed in July.
Hardware sales totaled $150.6 million for the period from July 29 to August 25, a dip of 39 percent. Larry Hryb, Xbox Live's director of programming, said the Xbox 360 led the slowing home console race for the 20th consecutive month by moving 193,000 units. On the bright side, game sales fell only 9 percent over the same period, led by THQ's Darksiders II. Other new releases to breach the NPD's top 10 were New Super Mario Bros. 2 at number two, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance at number three, Sleeping Dogs at number six, and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron at number seven.
Call of Duty: Black Ops outlived its successor Modern Warfare 3, with the former coming in at number eight and the latter dropping off the chart from July when it held number nine. Total retail sales for game software came in at $237.7 million.
NPD analyst Anita Frazier said none of the platforms available in August 2011 saw sales increases. However, both the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 3 moved more units in August than they did in July this year; 44 percent of 3DS sales came from the 3DS XL, which launched August 19.
"One factor contributing to the softness we have seen in retail content sales so far in 2012 has been the decline in the sheer number of new titles [which was not the case in August]," Frazier said. "So, what we're seeing impact August results is the domino effect of the light release schedule from earlier in the year. That lack of new releases has had a significant impact on subsequent month's sales."
The lightest decline was marked at 9 percent in game accessories, which includes items like point or subscription cards and Skylanders action figures as well as controllers. Accessory sales totaled $237.7 million for the month.
NPD tempered its results, saying they "represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software, and accessories," which it said accounts for roughly half of total video game sales. NPD estimated that would put the full figure at $989 million.
Another report from the NPD Group this week indicated that the US gamer population shrunk by 5 percent from last year, though mobile players grew enough to surpass the core gamer segment.
AUGUST 2012 US GAME SALES (July 29-August. 25)
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $515.6 million (-20%)
Non-PC hardware: $150.6 million (-39%)
Non-PC software: $237.7 million (-9%)
Accessories: $127.3 million (-7%)
Total software: $252.8 million (-11%)
TOP 10 GAMES FOR AUGUST 2012
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Darksiders II (X360, PS3, PC) - THQ
2. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS) - Nintendo
3. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (3DS) - Square Enix
4. NCAA Football 13 (X360, PS3) - Electronic Arts
5. LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (X360, Wii, 3DS, DS, PS3, PS Vita, PC) - Warner Bros. Interactive
6. Sleeping Dogs (X360, PS3) - Square Enix
7. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (X360, PS3) - Activision Blizzard
8. Batman: Arkham City (X360, PS3, PC) - Warner Bros. Interactive
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops (X360, PS3, PC, DS, Wii) - Activision Blizzard
10. The Amazing Spider-Man (X360, PS3, DS, 3DS, Wii) - Activision Blizzard
These kinds I stories are stupid. Of course there's a decline in hardware sales, there's no good games during the summer to sell hardware for. Now wait for this fall/winter when all the new games games release. Then well get the "hardware sales jump over holidays". Duh, gee really??
ive been overdue to buy a new system for a while now, but why bother when they dont make any games i wanna play anymore?
There was a mario game and darksiders 2 this month... anything else was secondary bullcrap. Duh sales weren't big.
Who cares anyway? Come the end of September (releases such as JSR HD, DOA 5, Borderlands 2) will be good, and then october explodes into november. It always works like that.
Too bad it doesn't look like GTA V this fall though :;(
This is why I can't imagine Sony and Microsoft not releasing new consoles next year, they've milked this gen about as much as they can and it is time to move on.
Also funny that Black Ops outsold MW3 (as it should be).
I suspect that the sales of 2005 model cars is down as well. The gaming industry is fortunate to have milked current gen hardware sales for this long.
@SingletreeAve Well put, it's really gotten to the point that everyone has a 360. (or ps3) I have 4 X360s in my house because they have been around long enough we all ended up buying our own.
hahahha black ops old sold MW3, it's great to that gamers finally realize when a product is literally rehashed excrement with a $60 dollar price tag!
Maybe it has something to do with how there are around 44 million people in the U.S on food stamps? Just saying.
@Vickman178 There is a scary denial and failure to mention how badly millions of people are doing... Many people hit by the recession starting in 2008, are still in the same dire situation, or worse. A generation is slipping through the cracks.
Hello its summertime games always take a back burner during that time every year it happens wait til fall/winter and stop saying the same story every year come up with some new news for crying out loud.
@constantterror I agree. It's the same pattern every year, this isn't news. Thank god we are coming into fall though. August was like when it starts to drizzle, but this month it turns to a whole storm of awesome releases. Almost all of which I will be paying for on day 1.
Hell, I don't even have money to go to Goodwill and buy 45 cent vinyl records or clothes, let alone games.
I've actually gone back and started playing XBox1 games I never completed.
I seem to have to say this every month, but WE DON'T HAVE MONEY!!! I have to scrape up pennies just for basic necessities.
The most recent game I got was Gotham City Impostors... cause it was FREE.
@DrKill09 My sentiments exactly, its just not a good feeling out there for the economy. As much as I would love to play all these new games. Putting food on my family's table and bills will always take a priority.
Newsflash: People Don't Have As Much Money As They Used To!
An honestly; with the excaption of 360 replacement rates how many gamers haven't bought in to this generation yet?
There's already over 80 Million 360's and 100 Million Wii's and 60 Million PS3's on the market. Not much room for improvement really.
This generation is basically over. Sure the next GTA will push systems, but it's time for something that is newer than an iPhone.
IF things are really slow, and sales down year over year, OVER YEAR! Then why are we even talking about next gen, instead of price drops for games and consoles. $39.99 - $49.99 for games sounds a lot better than $499.00+ for Next gen with $59.99 - 64.99 Games.
And if people think that next gen will get people buying again couldn't they just buy a rig equal to next gen NOW and play games that look better on PC NOW?!
Got to agree and we do need price drop asap and not very many people don't want spend over $60 for 5 to 15 hour games
@Ravenlore_basic Because PC gaming is a pain in the ass. From installation, to troubleshooting, all the way to the constant upgrading of hardware.
People want consoles because its a "push play" level of simplicity. I am not computer illiterate in the least, but I happen to agree that playing console games is 100% less frustrating and faster.
NPD news sucks. They no longer give out all the details that we want to see. I can't understand why Gamespot continues to even post the information. We literally have to wait for Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony to share the numbers and many times they don't even bother. VGChartz is completely unreliable because they constantly change their numbers UP & DOWN after the NPD numbers are released. Their totals never match what Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft posts.
I can't believe that there weren't hardware price drops already this summer. I will be amazed if there isn't a drop by Christmas, though, to boost those sales. I also wish Sleeping Dogs would have done better, but I bet it did pretty well on PC via digital distribution. These lists are increasingly misleading with the high number of PC gamers that choose digital distribution. New consoles may give more meaning to these charts, though, if it brings people away from PCs (not me, though...)
@FakeKisser I agree, I am way way surprised that at least the WII didn't have a price drop. I imagine places are going to start wanting to offload that crap pretty soon for the new crap.
It's a shame Sleeping Dogs isn't higher up, though considering it's a new IP it's done really well. Digital figures aren't counted and it has barely moved past the top 10 sellers on Steam. The game is the best sleeper hit in a while. At least Europe has it as the number one seller. Cheers! :)
Sales will pick up again in October (Xcom, Dishonored) if not later this month (Fifa13, Borderlands2). Then you have the holiday season after that. This is not really news considering everyone and their pets know that new hardware is around the corner. I am sure iPhone4 sales take a big dip when iPhone5 gets announced too. Go figure.
I agree that the lack of new titles plays a definitive factor in decline of sales. I have bought less games the past few months because of this reason.
@-Five0- well. I didn't buy games for the past few months because. I didn't have the money for them.
..59.99$ games, shovelware, no accountability, defective games with no return policy, forced into can't sue clause after purchases, 4 hour games....game companies canabalized themselves with greed.........
This summer every website, including Gamespot, were rushing to be the first to post rumours about next-gen consoles, whether they were confirmed or not. I don't think it's any surprise at all that people are abstaining from console purchases now in anticipation that next-gen will be around the corner.
omg who cares thats all i see now is game sales are droping well guess what gaming will never die its simple sales pick up every holiday and experts are always wrong when it comes to gaming and them saying ''its just a fad''
Well, I think Apple should bring out some gaming hardware then sue Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo as they had the idea first but didn't tell anyone about it.
@samedizombie Apple wouldn't last very long in a console war as their console would be priced over 2000$ and would be called igame and bascically would be just another overgrown ipod shuffle clubbed with a video player.
Not surprising with the slowdown of releases, nice weather, other stuff to do etc. Plus people looking to buy consoles for the holiday seasons will be waiting to see what package deals they can pick up.
@Carpetfluff Do you live in the U. S.? ( if not! ) the weather SUX!!!
It has certainly been a slow few months for major games releases. Thank goodness the Autumn line-up is looking pretty good! ( for me anyway :P )
Really? The longest console cycle in history, and they are talking about slow downs, and dips in Hardware sales? Are you serious?
I was ready for a new console last year.
This year for games has been rather lame. I've only bought two games this year that were new releases, "Darksiders 2, and Mass Effect 3."
I usually buy a new game once a month. I've been forced to replay through older games I bought years ago... which wasn't really a bad thing...
Playing through Devil May Cry 4 again was fun... so was Halo 3 o.d.s.t...
BUT still... this year has been pretty lame.
Can't wait for Assassins Creed 3, and Halo 4...
@Hellhound30x Out of curiosity, how is a new system going to solve the problem of new games for you to play?
Are the game companies magically going to create new content and IP's that dazzle you so much that spending $300-500 on a new system made it all worthwhile?
You might see a few new IP, but get serious, I don't see the gameplay experience you're getting now changing that much with a new system.
Also none of these interest you?
Dishonored, Bioshock Infinite, God of War Ascension, Gears of War Judgement, The Last of Us, Two Souls, Remember Me, Aliens Colonial Marines, Injustice Gods Among Us, Crysis 3, Metro: Last Light, Grand Theft Auto 5, Dead Space 3, Deadpool, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch, Destiny
And that's not even a complete list, just some of the bigger titles I could think of and find that are coming out, if you can't find anything there to keep you occupied for a good while you're either not trying hard enough or are too picky.
I'm not in any rush for next gen, I still have way too many games to play from this gen to finish up....
@uncle5555 To answer your other question... With a new console comes excitement.. I haven't felt excited about the game industry in a while... well until I saw MGS 5.... (Thanks Kojima!)
I want a new console, deal with it.
@uncle5555 What you didn't read my comment? You even gave me a list, how sweet. Almost 99 percent of those games aren't coming out until NEXT YEAR! Get off your high horse. INFACT I would even go as far as to say GTA 5 won't even be out by this time next year... this comment, and your comment will be OVER A year old by that time.
I'm too picky? Please enlighten me as to what has come out this year... oh wait that list you gave me right? MOST OF IT IS 2013!
I'm in 2012 right as is most of the world.
Too picky? Ha.... have you seen my game collections? I think not....
@Hellhound30x Ive felt the same replaying older games to keep me busy while every now and then popping onto BF3 just replaying Arkham city and finished Metal Gear GOTP. The onl game ive bought this was so far was Mass Effect 3 Waiting on Assassins Creed 3 now then onto next year
@supa_stud I know where you're coming from bro... Monday nights/Tuesday mornings were always something to look forward too... lately its just been boring.
Assassins Creed 3 ftw!!!
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