Game sales nosedive 25% at US retail in April
Warner Bros' Injustice: Gods Among Us takes the top spot on the charts in a dismal month for retail games
The NPD Group has released its report for the month of April, and partially thanks to a lack of compelling new software, total industry sales slumped 25 percent, reaching only $495.2 million. Software sales (including PC) for the month fell 17 percent to $267.8 million while hardware sales plummeted 42 percent to $109.5 million, likely due to more and more people hearing about next-gen platforms coming out later this year and deciding to wait. Sales of accessories were down as well, falling 19 percent to $131.4 million.
Another factor in April's numbers was that Easter fell in March this year but April last year. “Easter typically accounts for a 10 percent boost in the month in which it occurs," NPD analyst Liam Callahan noted.
The software charts were led by Warner Bros' new release, Injustice: Gods Among Us - the first time since April 2011 that a fighting game (Mortal Kombat) ranked in the top spot - and Deep Silver's new title, Dead Island: Riptide. Trion Worlds' transmedia-focused Defiance, which ties into the SyFy TV show, also managed to make a dent, placing fifth overall. While sales have been down, on the bright side, games that topped the charts did perform better than during the same period a year ago.
“Despite overall declines, April title launches in 2013 fared better than games that launched in April 2012, up 118 percent in unit sales and 130 percent in dollar sales. This increase was driven by games like Injustice: Gods Among Us, Dead Island: Riptide, and Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins,” said Callahan.
He added, "Overall declines are stemming from the performance of games launched prior to April; for example, the decrease in sales performance of March launches. Specifically, when looking at video games launching in March 2012, month 2 sales represented 25 percent of the total first two months of sales, which contracted to 17 percent for March 2013 launches. One reason for this might be the decrease in the number of new titles, which can cause sales of a title to be 'front loaded' with a greater amount of sales happening in the first month of its release.”
Here's the top 10 list, according to NPD: