Video game sales continue slide in March
It was the fourth straight month that video game industry sales have dropped and comes after revenue fell 8% in 2011. However, the data include only sales of physical games and consoles and excludes the fast-growing but still smaller market for digital downloads, social and mobile video games.
It was the devices themselves that suffered the most, with revenue down 35% to $323.5 million. NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in an email that while sales of all video game devices were down, "high definition consoles" — meaning Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's Playstation 3 — fared best. That meant Nintendo's Wii and handheld 3DS and Sony's new handheld Playstation Vita, which debuted in February, appear to have sold poorly.
Sales of software — the games themselves — dropped 25% to $553.1 million. Electronic Arts' highly anticipated science-fiction sequel Mass Effect 3 was the month's best-selling game, while Capcom's newest installment in its Resident Evil horror series, Operation Raccoon City, came in at No. 2.
Activision Blizzard's kids' game series Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure continued to be popular, NPD said. The game itself, released in October, was still the No. 15 title in March. More significantly, three Skylander "character packs" — toys that can be integrated into the game — were among the top-10-selling video game accessories for the month. "The [Skylanders] accessory items are selling phenomenally well," said Frazier.
— Ben Fritz
Photo: An image from Mass Effect 3. Credit: Associated Press.