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March NPD: US game industry sales down 25% as Mass Effect 3, RE: Operation Raccoon City top the chart

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US sales analyst firm The NPD Group has released its latest report on the state of the country’s videogame industry with data on sales for the month of March across hardware, software and accessory categories, showing a 25% year-over-year performance drop to $1.1 billion in revenue, compared to the same period in 2011.

NPD’s Anita Frazier wrote in the report:

“While it was a disappointing month, and first quarter, for new physical retail sales of video games hardware, software and accessories, it wasn’t entirely unexpected given guidance we’ve seen from several sources.

“Outside of new physical retail sales, we find that the consumer spend on content on used games, rentals, subscriptions, mobile games, social network games, digital full game downloads and add-on content accounted for an additional $2.5 billion to $2.7 billion across the U.S., U.K., France & Germany in Q1 2012.”

March 2012 Software Sales

For the month of March, videogame software sales in the US videogame industry dropped by a worrying 26% to $585.1 million, despite the release and top performance of games such as Mass Effect 3 and Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City.

In addition, Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg noted that Mass Effect 3 sold 943 000 units on Xbox 360, outselling the PlayStation 3 version of the game by four to one.

NPD’s Frazier pointed out that Kid Icarus on 3DS sold very well, but didn’t make it into the Top Ten on a technicality:

“In a list of the top 10 SKUs for the month (as opposed to top titles as listed here), 3DS Kids Icarus: Uprising would have been among the top selling individual SKUs for the month of March.”

March 2012 Software Sales Chart

  • 1). Mass Effect 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) – EA – Over 1.14 Million units
  • 2). Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (Xbox 360, PS3) – Capcom USA – 582 000 units
  • 3). MLB 12: The Show (PS3, PSV) – SCE
  • 4). NBA 2K12 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PC, PS2) – Take 2 Interactive
  • 5). SSX 2012 (Xbox 360, PS3) – EA
  • 6). Street Fighter X Tekken (PS3, Xbox 360) – Capcom USA
  • 7). Mario Party 9 (Wii) – Nintendo – 230 000 units
  • 8). Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC) – Activision Blizzard
  • 9). Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja (Xbox 360, PS3) – Namco Bandai Games
  • 10). Major League Baseball 2K12 (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, NDS, PSP, PC, PS2) – Take 2 Interactive

Other software sales numbers:

  • Kid Icarus – 135 000 units
  • Super Mario 3D Land – 100 000 units
  • Mario Kart 7 – 118 000 units

March 2012 Hardware Sales

For the month of March, videogame hardware sales in the US videogame industry fell by a drastic 35% to $323.5 million, as this category was once again dominated by Microsoft and its Xbox 360 which managed to sell 371 000 units – double the numbers this month of both the PlayStation 3 and Wii combined.

“Hardware really slowed down this month and all systems saw a unit sales decline versus last March,” writes Frazier, “and on an average sales per week basis, versus February 2012. That said, the high definition console systems fared better than many other hardware platforms.”

“The Xbox 360 is the best-selling console system for the last 15, and the best-selling hardware platform overall for the past 8 months.”

March 2012 Hardware Sales Chart

  • Xbox 360 – 371 000 (-14.3%)
  • PlayStation 3 – 337K (-7.7% – Estimate)
  • Nintendo 3DS – 225K (-43.8%)
  • Nintendo Wii – 175K (-39.7%)

March 2012 Videogame Industry Sales Totals

February 26th 2012 through March 31st 2012:

  • March 2012 Videogame Sales – $1.1 billion (-25%)
  • March 2012 Videogame Hardware Sales – $323.5 million (-35%)
  • March 2012 Videogame Software Sales – $585.1 million (-26%)
  • Read Microsoft’s response to the March NPD results over here.

  • Read Sony’s response to the March NPD results over here.


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