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Video games are not recession proof

So much for that theory
Fri Jul 17 2009, 12:53

PREDICTIONS that the computer games industry might be a safe haven for recession-hit developers are proving bogus.

The strokers of beards sagely proclaimed that the games industry would be recession proof, based on the logic that punters would buy computer games rather than splash out on expensive holidays.

But according to beancounters at NPD, US video game sales revenues dropped 31 per cent to $1.17 billion in June, compared with $1.7 billion a year earlier.

NPD blames the ongoing economic recession and a lack of blockbuster releases.

However, this was the fourth decline in video game sales in as many months and one wonders where analysts got the idea that the industry would be recession proof.

NPD's Anita Frazier said this level of decline is certainly going to cause some pain and reflection in the industry.

Hardware seems to be the worst hit with only Microsoft's Xbox 360 game console managing to record a slight sales increase. Across all platforms sales fell 38 per cent to $382.6 million from $617.3 million compared to the same month a year ago. Nintendo Wii sales dropped 45 per cent, and Sony PlayStation 3 dropped 59 per cent.

Games software sales fell by 29 per cent to $625.7 million from $875.8 million a year ago.

NPD hinted that part of the decline may be due to gamers moving to online gaming, but said that trend did not represent a significant threat to console makers. µ



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