NPD: July games market down 29%

July proved another tough month for video games retailers in North America, with the overall value of the market declining 29 per cent year-on-year with a total value of $1.19bn.

Hardware sales were hardest hit, falling 37 per cent to $281m. Software sales also declined – a 26 per cent drop saw them fall to $437m. Accessory sales fell 12 per cent to $150m.

The US video games industry declined for the fifth consecutive month, bringing year-to-date sales to $8.16 billion, down 14 per cent from the same time period last year,” NPD’s Anita Frazier explained.

The chances of gaming maintaining its startling run of year-on-year market rises now seem slim, though Frazier wouldn’t rule out the possibility completely.

In order for the industry to come in flat or slightly up for the total year, the back five months of the year have to come in 11 per cent or more higher than the last five months of last year,” she added.

While year-to-date results are weak, there are some big titles set to be released over the next several months, including Madden this month, which should help spur sales. The worst comps should be behind us, and looking beyond August we have The Beatles: Rock Band, Halo 3: ODST,and of course, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to look forward to."

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