NPD: Game Industry Sales Went Down 17 Percent

NPD: Game Industry Sales Went Down 17 Percent NPD: Game Industry Sales Went Down 17 Percent

Video game industry sales slumped 17 percent in the U.S. during March to $1.43 billion, according to NPD Group.

But the group's analyst Anita Frazier believes that this doesn't imply that recession has finally hit the gaming industry. "While it might be tempting to jump to the conclusion that the sky is starting to fall on the video games industry given this month's results, it's important to remember that two very big things are different this year than last," she said.

"First, Easter fell in March last year whereas it fell in April this year, and last March included the release of Super Smash Bros.: Brawl, which went on to become the fourth best-selling game in 2008."

Year-over-year hardware sales were down 18 percent to $4.55 billion, and software sales went down 17 percent to $792.83 million.

The February 2009 release of Playstation 3 exclusive Killzone 2 didn't accelerate the console's sales as Sony had hoped. Sony also reduced Playstation 2's price to $99, but this didn't reflect on the older console's sales yet. Xbox 360 was the only console to see year-over-year unit sales increase.

March 2009 software sales was led by the Xbox 360 version of Capcom's Resident Evil 5 which sold 938,000 units. The Playstation 3 version of the game came in fourth with 585,000 units sold. Killzone 2 came in seventh place with 296,000 units.

March 2009 hardware sales:
Wii - 601,000
DS - 563,000
Xbox 360 - 330,000
PS3 - 218,000
PSP - 168,000
PS2 - 112,000

March 2009 software sales:
1. Resident Evil 5 (Capcom, Xbox 360) - 938K
2. Pokemon Platinum (Nintendo, DS) - 805K
3. Halo Wars (Microsoft, Xbox 360) - 639K
4. Resident Evil 5 (Capcom, PS3) - 585K
5. Wii Fit w/ Balance Board (Nintendo, Wii) - 541K
6. MLB '09: The Show (Sony, PS3) - 305K
7. Killzone 2 - (Sony, PS3) - 296K
8. Wii Play w/ Remote (Nintendo, Wii) - 281K
9. Mario Kart w/ Wheel (Nintendo, Wii) - 278K
10. MLB 2K9 (Take-Two, Xbox 360) - 205K