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NPD: September Video Game Sales Drop 24%

11 Oct, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Sales of new packaged media video games topped $848 million in September — down 24% from new game sales of $1.1 billion during the previous-year period, according to new data from The NPD Group.

The sales decline underscored ongoing challenges to the video game market as consumers hold back on purchases heading into the fourth quarter, and increased numbers of gamers opt for online content, among other challenges.

Hardware sales — again driven by Microsoft’s Xbox 360 — plummeted 39% to almost $211 million from $346 million last year. Software sales (not including new physical) topped $497 million, which was down 18% from sales of nearly $610 million in 2011.

PC game sales increased 117% to $50 million compared with $23 million during the previous-year period. Accessories nearly reached $140 million, down 11% from $156 million during September 2011.

“Although a stronger slate of content was released to market as compared to recent past months, weak comparisons to titles like Gears of War 3 and Dead Island from last September led to an overall decrease compared to September 2011,” NPD industry analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. “When looking past the top-selling game for the month in each of the two comparison months, the remaining top 10 titles sold through 18% fewer units than they did last year.”

Callahan said he sees momentum heading into the holidays when looking at August sales compared with September, which were up 67% on an average sales-per-week basis.

“With a diverse range of games from sports games to shooters, Electronic Arts had a strong presence with five of the top 10 best-selling titles,” he said.

Indeed, top-selling titles in September included Madden NFL (Electronic Arts), Borderlands 2 (Take 2), FIFA Soccer 13 (EA), Super Mario Bros. 2 (Nintendo), Guild Wars 2 (NCsoft), NHL 13 (EA), World of Witchcraft: Mists of Pandaria (Activision Blizzard), NCAA Football 13 (EA), Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes (Warner Bros. Interactive) and Battlefield 3 (EA).

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