Has the weak US economy finally affected videogames?

You saw our August NPD data, right? It said that August was a slow month, and may point to a slowing economy finally having an effect on the games industry. Analysts expected sales gains of 20 to 25 percent, but only saw about half of that last month.

CNN Money says that nearly all of the major videogame publishers’ shares were in the red on Friday. Even GameStop’s shares were down 5 percent.

“So much for strength in video games,” Deutsche Bank analyst Jeetil Patel said Friday. “After starting off with roughly 40% to 50% growth in the first six months, August video game sales came back down to reality with a hard dose of consumer spending woes.”

“Shares of video game companies have been under pressure for some time due to just such fears,” Mitchell wrote in a report. “We think that they will remain under pressure in the near term as investors adjust their expectations downward.”

Our friendly neighborhood analyst Michael Pachter isn’t worried, saying that “the combined effects of the hurricanes, political conventions and Olympics distracted many consumers.” Good points.

I’m not worried, either. While both console and game sales are down, we’re walking into a holiday season unlike any other for games. I know my “want list” is huge, and I’m sure your list is, too.

Are you worried that the industry is headed downward?

Dale North