Video Games sales in U.S. October 2012
Analysis from NPD industry analyst, Liam Callahan
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 September such as used and rentals at $101MM, 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 $359MM, we would estimate the total consumer spend in September to be just under $1.2B. Our final assessment of the consumer spend in these areas outside of new physical retail sales will be reported in February in our Q4 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report.
NPD Group's U.S. Games Industry Sales (New Physical Sales Channel*) - October 2012
4-week month; Reporting Period 9/30/12 through 10/27/12
While we saw declines in hardware unit sales across all platforms year-over-year, when looking at average sales per week versus September, several consoles realized higher sales: the 360, PS3, NDS and 3DS. This is a sign of increasing momentum as we move into the holiday season.
The Xbox 360 was top selling hardware platform for 15th consecutive month.
Due to the launch of Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon While 2, portable software sales increased by 37% from last October. However, this growth was not enough to offset declines in console software.
The top title was NBA 2K13 from Take 2 Interactive. This game outsold last year's 2K12 by over 60% in both dollars and units. This favorable comparison may have partly been due to the NBA lockout at the start of last year's basketball season, likely tempering consumers' interest in 2K12 initially.
Skylanders Giants software performed well, breaking into the top 10 title ranking, and selling over 160% more units than last year's Skylanders title did in its debut month at retail.
Unfortunately, other sequels new to market this month did not perform as well compared to prior iterations. This, combined with poor comps against the launch of hits like Battlefield 3 and Batman: Arkham City in October 2011 led to the decline in software sales.
When ranking game sales on a SKU basis, Wii Just Dance 4 ranks within the top 10.
After setting a new bar for the initial launch month of a Madden title, EA's Madden NFL 13 posted modest growth in its second month of sales. FIFA Soccer 13 also sold favorably to last year's title, up 16% in both dollars and units.
The Skylanders phenomenon continues with the launch of Giants and its respective accessory items. Compared to the launch of Skylanders in October 2011, close to 4 times the unit sales was generated by Skylanders Giants accessories.