Game Sales Drop, Gamestop On Thin Ice

Posted on May 15, 2010

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According to consumer market research company NPD, video games sales in April 2010 plummeted 26% for software and 37% for hardware compared to April 2009. Whereas the jury is out as to the exact cause, NPD predicts that video game retail store GameStop will experience the brunt of this staggering drop in consumer sales.

The most likely suspect behind the industry’s recent woes is a lack of AAA titles released in April. NPD also points to Easter coming at a different date this year as a possible explanation behind the lack of video game purchases as gifts. But, being that Easter was still in April, that could be an overly optimistic opinion. A third factor, the emergence of free online games on social networking sites such as Facebook, is a viable culprit as well.

Between online gaming and a low-tide of new releases, the dip in sales shouldn’t be much of a shock to stockholders, but will most likely effected stock prices on Wall Street nonetheless. If the Wall Street suits cared to pop into a GameStop however, they’d see that behind Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell: Conviction, April’s lineup of games boasted little more pop than a sparkler on a rainy day.

Nintendo’s Monster Hunter 3 injected some life into the shelves, but being that both Conviction and Monster Hunter were sold exclusively for XBox 360 and the Wii respectively, there simply wasn’t much out there to buy. Nier, a PS3 title with a decent buzz fizzed out, and Dead to Rights: Retribution held a ton of potential as the third installation to the hellagood franchise from the mid 2000s.

According to a report by CNBC, software sales slipped to $398.5 million, while hardware sales dropped to $249.3 million. These numbers may seem fantastic for a month’s worth of revenue, but being that they’re lower than ’09’s numbers, that’s enough to get the market wondering if Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are going to consider price drops for consoles and games.

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