Feeds

Recession takes chunk out of game sales

Finally feels pinch

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

"Recession-proof" ain't what it used to be. First Google's secret money making machine starts coughing up smoke, and now the video games industry takes a hit.

What's next, recession? Rainbows and unicorns going broke?

March sales for the games industry as a whole dropped 17 per cent compared to a year ago, according to NPD Group. That's the first time during this recession the games biz suffered a drop in revenues.

Overall, the industry saw about $1.43bn in sales during the month, compared to $1.72bn in March 2008. Software sales dropped 17 per cent year-over-year to $792.8m and hardware sales fell 18 per cent to $455.6m.

NPD correctly notes, however, that March 2008 saw the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl on the Wii, which went on to become the fourth best-selling game that year. That tosses a bit of a wrench into comparing sales year-over-year, but NPD may be giving one game too much credit. March 2009 had some potentially big releases too, most notably additions to the popular Resident Evil, Pokemon, and Halo franchises.

The bean counting firm also attributes the sales dip to Easter falling in March last year, whereas it was in April this time around. Apparently, the Easter Bunny has been known to squeeze out the occasional video game disk along with her usual repertoire of chocolate eggs. NPD claims Easter accounted for $121m in sales last year, with the following breakdown for consoles:

  1. Nintendo Wii: 601,000 units
  2. Nintendo DS: 563,000 units
  3. Microsoft Xbox 360: 330,000 units
  4. Sony Playstation 3: 218,000 units
  5. Sony PSP: 168,000 units
  6. Sony Playstation 2: 112,000 units

Per usual, Nintendo's Wii beat the snot out of every other company's consoles. But the surprise here is that Microsoft's Xbox 360 was the only console to achieve year-over-year growth. Xbox 360 sales increased 25 per cent compared to March of last year. In comparison, Wii numbers dropped about 14 per cent and the PS3 slipped about 13 per cent.

On games, NPD ranked the top-10 software sales as follows:

  1. Resident Evil 5, Xbox 360, 938,000 units
  2. Pokemon Platinum Version, Nintendo DS, 805,000 units
  3. Halo Wars, Xbox 360, 639,000 units
  4. Resident Evil 5, PS3, 585,000 units
  5. Wii Fit w/ Balance Board, Wii, 541,000 units
  6. MLB '09: The Show, PS3, 305,000 units
  7. Killzone 2, PS3, 296,000 units
  8. Wii Play w/ Remote, Wii, 281,000 units
  9. Mario Kart w/ Wheel, Wii, 278,000 units
  10. Major League Baseball 2k9, Xbox 360, 205,000 units

Guess we'll see next month if the Easter Bunny laid the missing cash in the games industry's basket for April. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Whitepapers

Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.