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Video game sales skid 15% in February

March 11, 2010 |  6:24 pm

Video game sales in the U.S. plunged 15% in February as skittish consumers continued to ratchet back their spending.

The bleak sales report, from the NPD Group, marks the 10th declining month of the last 12 months. Sales of software fell 15% in February from a year earlier to $624 million. Console sales dropped a precipitous 20% to $426 million, while sales of peripherals such as game controllers fell 1% to $204 million.

The slip occurred despite three major titles released last month, including BioShock 2 from Take-Two Interactive Inc., Dante’s Inferno from Electronic Arts Inc. and Heavy Rain from Sony Corp.

“Honestly, I had expected the industry to perform somewhat better this month,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

In the console race, Microsoft Corp. finished first by selling 422,000 Xbox 360s. Nintendo Co.’s came in second with 397,900 Wii consoles sold. Sony was third with 360,100 PlayStation 3 consoles sold. Still, that was up 30% from a year earlier.

Expectations for console sales appeared to be low, with some stores running out of Wii and PS3 consoles last month, Frazier noted.

The top-selling titles included BioShock 2, which sold 750,000 copies in February. Meanwhile, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 blasted its way to become the third-best-selling game of all time in the U.S. at 10 million copies.

To see the top 10 titles for February, click the continue reading link below.

Top 10 U.S. video games for February 2010 (title, platform, copies sold)

1. BioShock 2 (Xbox 360) 562,900
2. New Super Mario Bros. (Wii) 555,600
3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360) 314,300
4. Just Dance (Wii) 275,400
5. Sports Resort (Wii) 272,500
6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PlayStation 3) 252,800
7. Mass Effect 2 (Xbox 360) 246,500
8. Dante's Inferno: Divine Edition (PlayStation 3) 242,500
9. Dante's Inferno (Xbox 360) 224,700
10. Heavy Rain (PlayStation 3) 219,300

Source: NPD Group Inc.