U.S. Physical Game Sales Drop, Digital Sales Rise in 1st Quarter
The analyst company NPD Group reported that retail sales of game software dropped 44% last month compared to the same time last year in the United States. Hardware sales dropped 31% and industry sales dropped 25%.
According to NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan:
Overall entertainment software declines, down 44% percent, were driven partly by sharp year-over-year declines within PC games due to poor comparisons to last year's Diablo 3 release. Softness in new physical entertainment software sales stemmed from a decline in the number of new launches, with over 30% fewer new SKUs, as well as poor performance of the new SKUs that were released. New SKUs generated over seventy percent less units on a per-SKU basis, and a decrease of over eighty percent revenue per SKU.
Nintendo topped hardware sales for the quarter according to a company press release. Nintendo cited strong sales of Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. NPD Group's release does not supply sales figures, however Microsoft announced that the Xbox 360 sold 114,000 units for the month, placing Nintendo's sales above that number.
Overall, NPD Group found that U.S. consumers spent US$1.59 billion in digital game content such as full game and add-on content downloads, subscriptions, mobile games and social network games. Combined with US$1.37 billion spent on new physical games and US$559 million spent on used and rental games, American consumers spent US$3.5 billion on video game content in the first fiscal quarter (January to March) of 2013. The same amount was spent in the first fiscal quarter of 2012.