With Christmas around the corner and millions of kids and adults thinking about the next big game to buy or coolest console to own, one would think sales would be out of control.
It’s actually quite the opposite.
Video game sales fell by 11 percent in the month of November, and that statistic coincides with video games, consoles and accessories. The 11-percent number alludes to the drop in sales when compared to the same month in 2011.
This is the 12th straight month of dropping sales in the video game industry.
Industry researcher NPD Group Inc., which conducts sales research for these types of statistics every month, also said that spending reduced from $2.87 billion to $2.55 billion in terms of the disparity between sales in 2011 and 2012. Hardware sales dropped 13 percent while software sales dropped 11 percent. An eight-percent drop in the purchase of accessories didn’t help the market either.
But companies, like Nintendo for example, believes that new gamers are always being garnered in the currently harsh market. The company’s new console, the Wii U, was recently released and Nintendo says over a million new people have been attracted to the new console. And things aren’t all that bad for Microsoft either as the company’s Xbox 360 was named the best-selling console again — its 16th straight month — after selling 1.26 million units.
But even though sales have consistently declined over the past year, the heavy hitters are still at the top in terms of software sales. Call of Duty: Black Ops II is the No. 1 game in the country, followed by Halo 4, Assassin’s Creed III, Just Dance 4 and Madden 13. Call of Duty and Halo alone are two giant games and have surely helped salvage sales, both in the United States and on a global spectrum. They each have a strong fan base and that always helps.
I’m sure you are thinking one thing right about now: why are video game sales declining in every aspect? In a short answer, it’s complicated.
Video games are expensive and times are still tough for many Americans. People shell out $60 for a game on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, so most consumers want to make sure that hard-earned $60 is worth buying a game.
Then there’s the aspect that many gamers feel as if they are being cheated after paying $60 for a game, and that revolves around downloadable content. Some companies, like those that make Call of Duty games, make so much extra money from consumers paying for extra maps and extra content.
It makes users wonder why all of the extras are not on the original game disc to begin with. If you purchase Black Ops II for $60 and some change, then download two map packs, then you’re already treading near the $100 mark for just one game. That is unacceptable.
It’s a slippery slope for the video game market. For one, the economy is still troubling for many and video games are not as urgent a necessity as paying a car bill or buying groceries. At the same token, many games made nowadays are of the utmost quality and amazing technology. It’s a catch-22 for consumers and gaming companies alike, and something has got to give.
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