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The Game Is Up – To $10.3B

27 Jan, 2003 By: Hive News

The video game industry generated $10.3 billion in sales, surpassing the previous record high of $9.4 billion in 2001, according to the latest sales figures from analyst firm The NPD Group.

Total U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories grew 10 percent in 2002 over 2001.

The category of video game software, including console and portable software, saw sales gains of 21 percent in dollar volume and sold 15 percent more units in 2002 than in 2001. Key franchises such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Madden NFL 2003, Super Mario Sunshine, Spider-Man: The Movie, Halo and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell drove the sales hike, NPD reported.

Annual 2002 video game hardware sales showed a slight decline of four percent in revenue, earning $3.5 billion versus $3.7 billion in 2001. However, the category did post a 10 percent increase in unit volume. The decline in dollar and increase in unit volume were attributed to price reductions of all hardware systems.

Prices of GameBoy Advance, GameCube, Sony Playstation 2 and Xbox dropped to almost one-third of their original prices in first half 2002. The new pricing opened the doors to the mass market, which led to the dramatic increase in unit sales.

In 2002, the category of console and portable accessories posted a 9 percent increase in dollar volume versus 2001. Console accessories include items such as DVD remotes and Internet adapters that lend themselves to the whole multimedia concept. These particular accessories were very important drivers to the video game industry in 2002, as they represented 18 percent of the next generation accessory dollars in August through December 2002.

Online playable games represented 15 percent of next generation software dollars in the same time period. This new format will become much more important for the duration of the next generation life cycle and beyond, NPD predicted.

"In 2003, the video game industry should expect unit volume growth to outpace dollar volume growth in the hardware category," said Richard Ow, senior account executive with The NPD Group. "Dollar volume will struggle for continued growth throughout 2003. The majority of the growth will come primarily from software sales, capitalizing on the hardware sold to date. The full power of the current generation of hardware is still unrealized. There is a barrage of new game software launches that will appeal widely to new video gamers, both old and young, expanding the software-to-hardware tie ratios of the previous generation.”

Top 10 Bestselling Video Game Titles, Ranked by Total U.S. Units Annual 2002

Rank Platform / Title Publisher Release Date ARP
1 PS2: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Rockstar Games Oct. '02 $49
2 PS2: Grand Theft Auto 3 Rockstar Games Oct. '01 $50
3 PS2: Madden NFL 2003 Electronic Arts Aug. '02 $49
4 GBA: Super Mario Advance 2 Nintendo of America Feb '02 $29
5 PS2: Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec Sony Computer Ent. July '01 $24
6 PS2: Medal Honor Frontline Electronic Arts May '02 $50
7 PS2: Spider-Man: The Movie Activision Apr. '02 $45
8 PS2: Kingdom Hearts Square EA Sept. '02 $49
9 XBX: Halo Microsoft Nov. '01 $48
10 GCN: Super Mario Sunshine Nintendo of America Aug. '02 $49
Source: The NPD Group/NPD Funworld

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