Packaged game sales expected to crash in August

July numbers will also be down with poor sales of new software

Sales of packaged video game goods in the US are expected to have been down once again in July, by as much as 27 per cent.

And according to Cowen & Company, the fall in sales is likely to be worse in August due a late release of Electronic Arts' Madden 2012, with the market set to slump by well over 30 per cent.

Ahead of NPD's official sales data tomorrow, Cowen & Company anticipates that console and handheld software for July will be down 15 per cent and PC games sales down a massive 71 per cent based on tough comparisons to last year's Starcraft 2 release.

In July, it expects that EA's NCAA Football 12 sold around 770,000 units, but no other titles managed more than 200,000 units during the month.

Looking further ahead, September is expected to pick up during a month with multiple releases, but still only in the single digits compared to last year.

Related stories

Nintendo Labo belongs in the classroom goes hands on with Nintendo's ambitious new project

By Christopher Dring

Far Cry 5 UK launch is the biggest in Far Cry history

Strong Easter sales all round for the boxed games market as Ubisoft ends March on a high

By Christopher Dring

Latest comments (11)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
To be fair, there are very few significant releases in August - off the top of my head I can only think of Deus Ex and Bodycount (which is still an unknown quantity). Publishers could really benefit from spreading their catalogue out more and putting out some games in July and August, when there is currently very little competition.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
I couldnt agree more, but probably there was not enough time to get ready for the summer season this year.
Suffice to say, they are going to have a large showing at Gamescom (are you attending terence?) and GDC Europe.

The Sep - Dec calender would have been more sane if these were all spread out (but hindsight being 2020) it will still be very entertaining to see who does the best in the sales wars. I'd love to see a combined packaged and digital sales figures
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Max Kaftanati President, Galaxy Gaming6 years ago
Not that many people game during the Summer, that's what they probably think avoiding Summer releases, which is wrong.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (11)
Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
@ Chee - no, I won't be at Gamescom; I'm only UK-based (and am not writing much at the moment due to being busy with home & family life) and trips to games expos usually have to come out of my own pocket which isn't really viable for me right now.

I will be at the EG Expo next month though - hopefully on the Saturday. Do any of the regulars here have any plans to meet for beer or three?
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
its a bit unusual that 2011 has a quieter summer sale than normal, compared to years before.

@ Terence - I hear ya. For EG Expo, maybe down for sept 25. The thing is once you go for a large expo, you've pretty much been updated on the latest fanfare, games, market movements and business talks for that quarter. I would have dearly loved a equivalent of a GDC or Gamescom in UK. We have the facilities and infrastructure, but the city of London probably needs to make a more attractive tender for such events.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
David Bachowski VP Business Development, Babaroga6 years ago
@Terence - Do regular lurkers count as "regulars"? :) I'm going to be at Eurogamer and I'd be happy to join people out for a drink or four
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Peter Dwyer software engineer, openbet6 years ago
I remember as early as last year that publishers were banging on about spreading their releases out. Instead they have made exactly the same mistake they do every year i.e. they all push out titles in the last quarter and wonder why the sales were then below expected figures.

Common sense should tell them that people can't afford to buy 20 titles so they buy the few they recognize and everything else simply sells on the margins.

For instance this autumn and winter my money is allocated to Uncharted 3, Gears 3 and maybe a couple of others (not call of cookie cutter though as I've shot one too many generic soldier to care what the next setting is).
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rod Oracheski Editor, Star News6 years ago
Exactly, Peter. The last few years there's been all kinds of noise from publishers about considering the entire calendar year for releases but nothing has actually happened on that front aside, perhaps, from a greater willingness to delay out of the November-December window into February-April.

There's still a giant hole through the summer and early fall that hasn't yet appeared on their radar.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 6 years ago
Wait... it hasn't exactly been a "quiet" summer in terms of console gaming.

inFamous 2, Red Faction: Armageddon, Dungeon Siege III, DNF, Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon, NCAA 12, Catherine, and a number of other games have all been released (and some have done well while others didn't). Not to mention a few key portable releases. I just think that a LOT of folks don't have the money to spend on more than one or two games or hell, they're renting stuff instead of buying it.

I'm sure iOS and other mobile device games are doing well, but overall, there's still a pretty bad recession affecting a great deal of consumers across all markets. At this rate, i see only a handful of "winners" in terms of big AAA titles this year while some other go screaming into the bargain bin after about a month or so of low sales. Granted, some games will still list for full price or close to it for the usual too long a time period just because the drones line up for the midnight launches and help move a few million units in record time. But I'm hoping we start to see less of that blockbuster on autopilot stuff and a return to appreciation of more than the online focused game experience (ha and ha, right?)

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Roland Austinat roland austinat media productions|consulting, IDG, Computec, Spiegel Online6 years ago
In other news, rarely any snow in August.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Additional news - BRC states that 1/3rd of the british public have no spare cash (for luxuries) as the main goals are rising fuel & energy bills, rent and paying off mortgages. How this factors into games is not exactly clear cut, but probably has a factor in the upcoming crammed Sep-Dec games dukeout.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.