US packaged goods sales to drop 26% in 2012
"If demand for high-quality AAA games was truly on the wane, it would almost certainly show up in EA's annual sports titles"
US sales of packaged video game products are expected to decline 26 per cent in 2012 despite the release of big titles at the end of the year and a new console from Nintendo, according to Doug Creutz of Cowen & Company.
"We believe double digit year-on-year software declines are likely to continue through the remainder of the year due to continued Wii weakness and the waning 360/PS3 cycle, though we do expect the pace of declines to moderate somewhat in Q4 with the fall release slate, the launch of the Wii U, and relatively easier comps," he said.
"We project that total US packaged good video game sales will decline 26% year-on-year in 2012."
In 2011, NPD recorded total packaged video game sales of $17 billion, down 8 per cent on 2010 following a disappointing December period.
Creutz was speaking ahead of the release of NPD figures for July, which he expects to be down 22 per cent on last year, with console and handheld software sales down 23 per cent.
"We expect [EA's] annual college football title to sell roughly flat with last year's total of 798,000 units," said Creutz of NCAA Football 13, one of the biggest titles released during the month.
"We believe this is an important contraindicator to the prevailing thesis that 'AAA is dead'; we believe that if demand for high-quality AAA games was truly on the wane, it would almost certainly show up in EA's annual sports titles"
NPD will release sales data for July on Thursday August 9.
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