Strong sales for the latest incarnation of the annual “Madden NFL” and action sequel “Borderlands 2" were not enough to arrest the latest slide in video game sales.
Total industry revenue from sales of physical games, consoles and accessories in the U.S. was $848 million in September, according to research firm NPD Group, down 24% from the same period a year ago.
Including sales of used games and digital downloads, as well as rentals, revenue in September was close to $1.6 billion, NPD analyst Liam Callahan estimated. NPD did not provide a comparison for the same categories from 2011.
The biggest category drop was for consoles, which plummeted 39% to $211 million. Fewer new consumers appear interested in buying game-playing devices like Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Sony’s Playstation 3 and Nintendo’s Wii.
Nintendo will try to reverse that trend in November when it launches the first “next generation” console with its Wii U.
The best-selling game in September was “Madden NFL ’13.” Callahan said the game sold 11% more units than last year’s “Madden NFL ’12" and the most ever for a “Madden” game in a single month, which is good news for publisher Electronic Arts.
“Borderlands 2" sold more than three times as many units as 2009’s original “Borderlands,” a sign that publisher Take-Two Interactive has successfully turned a well-reviewed but not hugely successful original game into a major franchise.
In total, however, this year’s September video game sales couldn’t match up to last year, which included the blockbuster “Gears of War 3.” Total revenue for the month was down 14% at $547 million.
But the fall video-game season is expected to heat up this month with the release of highly anticipated titles like “Resident Evil 6,” “Assassin’s Creed 3" and “Skylander Giants.”