Saturday, January 2, 2010

Looking at the Video Game World This Past Year

video game salesThe video game industry has been a constant up and down rollercoaster this year. 2009 sales for Nintendo’s Wii, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and Sony’s Playstation 3 and all their accessories and games have soared and plummeted during this year of recession.

The NPD Group industry analysis reported that last January sales were up 13 percent over the previous year. That boost continued into February when sales were up 10 percent over 2008. It was questioned why video game sales were up so much while jobs were disappearing rapidly. The conclusion that many came to was that the entertainment of a family game such as Madden 10 allows some great value for the dozens of hours of fun that your family can enjoy for around $50.

By March, the video game high was gone. Sales crashed as they went 17 percent below the previous year. This remained pretty constant month after month. The revenue figures proved that the video game industry was not recession-proof.

Now not everything was bad from there. Some individual games and companies did quite well. 2009 showed some great promise with the release of such games as Beatles: Rock Band, Assassins Creed II, and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. With Beatles: Rock Band, more than 700,000 games were sold worldwide in the first week. Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 racked up sales of over $310 million on the very first day alone. It quickly became the fastest-selling piece of entertainment in history in November.

In September, PS3 won the monthly sales award, beating out Xbox and Wii for the first time in three years. This was because of the August release of the PS3 Slim. This offered a smaller version of the console that could be purchased for a very reasonable price of $299. Nintendo began to cut their prices in 2009 though. The Wii went from the original price of $249 to $199, and by mid-fall, Nintendo retook their top sales spot.

Although sales have been up and down quite a bit, the video game industry will never have to worry about plummeting permanently. They might have a few bumps along the way as we saw this year, but they will always spring back. It will be interesting to see were the industry will go in this coming new year.

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