Game industry sees biggest sales slump in nine years

With the NPD results rolling in, it’s been made clear that things are not all roses and gumdrop rainbows in the land of videogames, with the industry seeing a fourth consecutive month of decline.

Hardware, software and accessory revenues are down $1.17 billion from June, seeing a 31% downturn. A slump this bad hasn’t been seen since September 2000. I’m not going to blame ridiculous over-saturation of the market during an overall economic downturn, but now would be a good time to push that particular point. 

The video games industry realised a significant decline when compared to June 2008,” states NPD analyst Anita Fraizer. “The first half of the year has been tough largely due to comparisons against a stellar first half performance last year, but still, this level of decline is certainly going to cause some pain and reflection in the industry.

“This is one of the first months where I think the impact of the economy is clearly reflected in the sales numbers. While the aggregate of content may not be as strong as what we saw in the first half of last year, and while the consumer base willing to spend dollars on hardware at the current price points may be thinning, the size of the decline could also point to consumers deferring limited discretionary spending until a big event (must-have new title, hardware price cut) compels them to spend.”

Looks like Bobby Kotick might want to hold off on buying another gilded elephant, at least for a few more months.

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James Stephanie Sterling
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