The UK games retail market has suffered its worst month in history.
Just over 1m boxed games were sold last month, 40.4 per cent lower than June and 33.3 per cent below July 2012. In total stores generated just over 23m from game sales, almost half the figure posted the month previously, according to GfK Chart-Track.
July was expected to be a bleak month for sales. The market has been in a steady decline as PlayStation and Xbox gear up to launch their next-generation consoles.
Meanwhile last month was severely lacking in new software. Out of the Top 50 best-selling games of July there were just three new releases – Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros, Pikmin 3 and Dynasty Warriors 8.
But the figures have also been hit by the hot weather, with consumers staying away from shops in favour of outdoor pursuits.
For all the gloom, retailers will be gearing up for August 23rd, when the market is expected to recover with the release of Saints Row, Splinter Cell, The Bureau: XCom and Disney Infinity.
MCV analysis predicts the UK High Street should generate over 1bn between now and Christmas.
And July wasn't a complete disappointment for everyone. Nintendo told MCV it was delighted by the sales of 3DS, which gained market share last month. Meanwhile, Sony's The Last of Us was the No.1 seller of July, and is now the second best selling game of the year.
All market data is courtesy of UKIE/GfK Chart-Track.
The July Top 10
1: The Last of Us (Sony)
2: Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (Microsoft)
3. Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Nintendo)
4. FIFA 13 (EA)
5. Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)
6. Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros (Nintendo)
7. Tomb Raider (Square Enix)
8. Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft)
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Activision)
10. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Legendary (Bethesda)