Nearly half of game retail’s annual revenues will come from just one fifth of the calendar year.
That’s according to GAME Group CEO Ian Shepherd, who has told investors that he hopes a strong set of releases will make up for the rough retail climate that has defined the year so far.
Between February 1st and July 31st, the markets in which we operate showed revenue declines of 15.5 per cent, with hardware down 13.7 per cent and software down 16.5 per cent,” he explained.
Very few major software titles launched in the period, with only LA Noire achieving sales in excess of 20m in the UK. In hardware, the Nintendo 3DS launched satisfactorily, but slightly behind market expectations.
In the first weeks of the second half, a number of significant titles have launched including Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dead Island and Gears of War 3. Sales of these titles were broadly in line with market expectations, confirming that good quality titles still attract strong consumer demand.
Additionally, Nintendo and Sony have reduced their hardware prices, enabling all three manufacturers to compete at mass-market price points.
As is always the case, the next 10 weeks will be extremely important for the market as they represent some 40 per cent of annual revenues. A range of strong games will launch, with 15 AAA titles still to come before December, and market data suggests that preorder volumes are ahead of last year for the key titles including: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, FIFA 12, Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Forza 4, Batman: Arkham City, and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.”