The economy is in a bit of a wounded state at the moment and the video game industry doesn’t appear to be any different. Software sales numbers from August came in last week and the results were “shocking” to analysts from the NPD Group. On the whole, there was a drop of around 14% in overall software sales, negating July’s 1% increase in revenue.
There were multiple factors mentioned that contributed to the down swing, from the iPad’s effect on the handheld market to the poor showing of supposedly marquee games like Kane and Lynch 2 . The Wii also sold much less than it has in previous months, hinting at the market’s probable anticipation of the Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move.
Shocking? Not so much, considering the summer has always been a relatively weak time for game releases. This August was no exception, couple that with a poor economy, the prominence of used games, and you have a pretty good obvious reason for such a drop. It may be a bit odd considering July’s numbers, but StarCraft 2 was released at that time, a game that sold 1.5 million copies within 2 days of release. Madden can’t carry August by itself.
Still, economic trends do translate to the way products get to the consumer, so here’s hoping the holidays spike the industry or we may be stuck with sequels and shovelware for quite some time.