July 2012 U.S. Video Games Industry Sales (NPD Group)
Following is analysis from The NPD Group's video game industry analyst, Anita Frazier
These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50% of the total consumer spend on games. When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in July such as used and rentals at $117MM, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps and the consumer spend on social network games at $439MM, we would estimate the total consumer spend in July to be $1.1B. Our final assessment of the consumer spend in these areas outside of new physical retail sales will be reported in November in our Q3 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report.
Looking forward to August, the launch of the 3DS XL coupled with New Super Mario Bros. 2 should bring a nice boost to the performance of the new physical retail channel. While August is typically "Madden Month", Madden NFL '13 launches on August 28th which falls into the September reporting period. So, like last year, Madden will impact September results instead of August.
New physical retail sales of games hardware, software and accessories traditionally follows a very reliable seasonality pattern. Based on year to date sales, and taking into account the release slate for the back five months of the year as well as the anticipated launch of the Wii U, annual sales for the new physical channel should come in around $14.5B for the year.
NPD Group's U.S. Games Industry Sales (New Physical Sales Channel*) - July 2012
4-week month; reporting period 7/1/12 through 7/28/12
Of the hardware platforms that were on the market last July, only one, the 3DS, realized a unit sales increase over last year. Both the DS and the 3DS, however, realized a month-over-month unit sales increase over June 2012 while the other platforms declined.
On a SKU ranking, Pokemon Conquest is among the top 10 in sales for the month of July.
The top ten games ranking includes several games that launched a number of months ago such as Batman Arkham City and Dead Island, which both received a boost in sales due to the release of Game of the Year editions.
Looking forward to August, besides the launch of New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS, it will be interesting to see the performance of Sleeping Dogs which is new IP that has garnered a fair amount of buzz.
Accessories was the only category up in both dollars and units for the month, driven by increases in points and subscriptions game cards as well as the Skylanders character packs.
Between the characters that are packaged with the Skylanders game and the sales of the separate character packs, over 25 million individual Skylanders figures have been sold through at retail in the U.S. since the launch of the game in October 2011.