January video game sales tank on lower releases


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Sales of U.S. video games and consoles plunged 34% in January to $750.6 million, compared with $1.14 billion a year earlier, according to market research firm NPD Group Inc.

Revenue from consoles such as the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and the Wii fell 38% to just under $200 million last month, down from $324 million in January 2010, NPD said in a report released Thursday. Console accessories, such as game controllers, slipped 18% to $195 million from $237 million.


Sales of games played on both personal computers and consoles ebbed 37% to $380 million, down from $603 million last year.

A dearth of new game releases last month made for the poor comparison with January 2011, when a flurry of new, high-profile games such as Dead Space 2 and DC Universe Online pumped up sales. All of the titles in the top 10 list for January 2012, for example, debuted last year.

Hard-core shooter titles remained popular, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3 and Saints Row: The Third taking top slots. Dancing and fitness games also continued to sizzle, with Just Dance 3 and Zumba Fitness 2 selling well.

Top-selling video games in January 2012

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision Blizzard)
2. Just Dance 3 (Ubisoft)
3. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Softworks)
4. NBA 2K12 (Take-Two Interactive Software)
5. Battlefield 3 (Electronic Arts)
6. Madden NFL 12 (Electronic Arts)
7. Mario Kart 7 (Nintendo)
8. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure (Activision Blizzard)
9. Zumba Fitness 2: Party Yourself Into Shape (Majesco)
10. Saints Row: The Third (THQ)
Source: NPD Group



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-- Alex Pham