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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:

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Latest comments (13)

Zero EA titles in the top#10? Nice :P
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Rolf Moren Freelance Marketing Consultant 3 years ago
People are saving up for the consoles, its as simple as that. My guess is that 360/PS4 sales will take a significant hit from this point onwards since the new consoles have become a reality in peoples minds. Why buy last years model when the new model is around the corner.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 3 years ago
What is going to happen when Sony and Microsoft launch their new consoles and the decline continues?
Will GungHo, Rovio, Zynga, Supercell etc give a damn?
Consoles are like a coach and horses when the customer base has discovered automobiles.
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Show all comments (13)
Justin Biddle Software Developer 3 years ago
I think your record player needs a new needle Bruce.
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Private Industry 3 years ago
Will Microsoft and Sony give a damn when Zynga closes shop and they still make and sell consoles?

What consumer base are you talking about? The one that only knows mobile and socials and would never buy any console or gaming PC or the one that likes console and PC games and would never change to mobile games?
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 3 years ago
@Werner Nemetz
Zynga has 253 million monthly active users and is profitable.
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John Bye Lead Designer, Future Games of London3 years ago
I think you need to re-read Zynga's Q1 results, Bruce. Year-on-year they lost 13% of their MAUs and 30% of their paying customers, and sales were down by 18%. They made a (small) profit last quarter, but are expecting to be making a loss again this quarter. It's not quite as rosy as your (technically accurate, but rather misleading) summary suggests...

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Bye on 17th May 2013 1:28pm

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Justin Biddle Software Developer 3 years ago
Look Bruce

http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/04/despite-slight-profits-zyngas-active-users-per-quarter-fall-to-record-low/

Zynga users fall to a record low. I'm going to apply the same logic that you apply to consoles and state here and now THEY'RE DOOMED!!!!!!

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Justin Biddle on 17th May 2013 1:43pm

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Private Industry 3 years ago
I was going to point out the user decline for Zynga but thats already done now.

They shut down several games and shift focus now to gambling. Question is if that gamble pays off for them.
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Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games3 years ago
Some times i really don't know if some people really have a good perspective of the things they talk about. Sure there is a decline for Zynga since they shut down several games. What would that do to their userbase right? It is only Natural.

So here are the numbers after the... "decline"
http://www.appdata.com/leaderboard/developers

and for the lazy ones.
# Developer Name
1. Zynga 212,785,180
2. King 127,756,287
3. Microsoft 70,446,047
4. Social Point 42,723,191
5. Woobox 42,686,399
6. Wooga 39,640,726
7. TripAdvisor 39,205,013
8. Yahoo! 38,655,459
9. Spotify 30,708,809
10. Electronic Arts 28,489,601
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Justin Biddle Software Developer 3 years ago
That's the point I was making to Bruce. Just like he does with console sales I deliberately took the declining figures headline and ignored any contributing factors to form the flippant conclusion that they were doomed.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 years ago
They shut down several games and shift focus now to gambling. Question is if that gamble pays off for them.
That's a gamble they'll have to take.

Sorry, couldn't help it.
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@ Bruce

Based on your analogy involving coaches, horses and automobiles, and taking into consideration your predictions for Zynga, I can only assume you have a delorean, and you are in possession of "the sports almanac" of the gaming industry.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sandy Lobban on 21st May 2013 2:55pm

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