Feeds

Recession takes chunk out of game sales

Finally feels pinch

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

"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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.