Video Game Sales Slipping 29 Percent for June -
June was a tough month for the video game business…sort of. The NPD Group’s retail sales data showed, for the month of June, that industry sales fell 29 percent, while software sales dropped 27 percent.
What does this mean, exactly? Well, it can get a bit jargony, but here's the long and the short of it according to NPD industry analyst Antia Frazer:
These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50-60% of the total consumer spend on games. When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales such as used and rentals at $170MM, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps and the consumer spend on social network games at $491MM, we would estimate the total consumer spend in June to be $1.36B…
Although someone who thinks very little about the gaming industry as a whole might look at these numbers and think that the video game industry is going down the tubes, someone like me isn’t shocked at all.
Video game sales dips down in the U.S. every single year in the summer. Why? The weather is nice, people are playing sports, they are outside, on summer vacations where people aren’t home and the list goes on and on. This is the one time of year where video game news is slow because there isn’t a lot of buzz around the industry, either.
Video game companies aren’t stupid, either. Do you think (with the exception of Madden or NCAA, really) that video game companies are going to release an extremely anticipated game annually in the summer?! Why would they do that!? They aren’t going to sell a lot of games right now. It’s just the way it works in the U.S.
Let’s use Call of Duty as an example. When does it get released every year? November, right before holidays and Thanksgiving break. Kids are getting three days off from classes and what do they want to do? Not homework. That’s where Call of Duty comes in. The weather is starting to get a little colder and kids, college students as well, are looking for entertainment.
Another example is Valve, the company who runs Steam—the digital video game service. Valve is currently having their summer sale, where they offer games at ridiculous prices—we're talking 50 to 75 percent off. They have figured out that the best time to offer these deals is when people aren’t spending their money on retail prices for other big-title games. Brilliant! And yet, even with the summer sale, the numbers are going to be a bit skewed.
But that’s okay, just watch the numbers climb right back up towards the end of the year like they always do.
Around The Web: