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NPD: February Video Game Sales Plummet 20%

8 Mar, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Double-digit sales declines in video game software, hardware and accessories combined to generate revenue of $1.06 billion in February — down 20% from revenue of more than $1.3 billion during the previous-year period, according to new data from The NPD Group.

Hardware sales dropped 18% to $381.4 million from $467 million, while console and portable game sales (not including physical sales) fell 23% to $464.4 million from $601.4 million last year.

The best-selling hardware platform was Xbox 360 for the seventh month in a row. The top-selling title was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 from Activision Blizzard.

Video game accessories totaled $485.7 million compared with $637.4 million — a drop of 24%.

“A decline in catalog sales was a major contributor to the decline in content sales at retail,” said analyst Anita Frazier. “Games that launched in 2011 sold 32% less units in February 2012 as compared to 2010 launches sold in February 2011, a decrease of $107 million.”

Outside of new physical retail sales, NPD estimated that consumer spending on alternative methods to acquire content, including used games, full game and add-on content downloads, social network games, mobile games, rentals and subscriptions accounted for an additional $550 million to $600 million in revenue.

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