Big releases can't stop US sales decline

Boxed product for September down 6 per cent; software, hardware and accessories all suffer drop

The US market for physical video game product was down 6 per cent in September to $1.16 billion, despite a number of high-profile game releases ahead of the Christmas sales period.

Sales of new software, including console and PC, were down 1 per cent to $653.2 million, off the back of the performance of titles such as Gears of War 3, Resistance 3 and EA Sports FIFA, NHL and Madden.

But hardware sales were down 9 per cent to $349 million and accessories dropped 14 per cent on last year to $154.8 million in a tough comparison to 2010's release of PlayStation Move.

The Xbox 360 was the number one selling console in September during the month, with 438,000 units sold, down 45,000 units on last year. Nintendo Wii and Sony PlayStation 3 numbers have not been disclosed.

EA's Madden NFL 12 topped the charts, followed by Gears of War 3, which sold two million units according to Microsoft. Dead Island, FIFA 12 and NHL 12 all made the top five.

The top ten US games in September follows:

  • 01 Madden NFL 12(360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP)
  • 02 Gears of War 3 (360)
  • 03 Dead Island (360, PS3, PC)
  • 04 FIFA Soccer 12 (360, PS3, Wii PS2, PSP, 3DS)
  • 05 NHL 12 (360, PS3)
  • 06 Deus Ex: Human Revolution (360, PS3, PC)
  • 07 Resistance 3 (PS3)
  • 08 LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Wii, DS, 360, 3DS, PSP, PC)
  • 09 Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, DS, Wii, PC)
  • 10 Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (360, PS3, PC)

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Latest comments (9)

Kyle Davidson6 years ago
Wow, Black Ops is almost 11 months old and it's still in the top 10? I can't help but be impressed by that kind of staying power.
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Nick Parker Consultant 6 years ago
It would be interesting to see the PS3 year on year trend as it is flat to increasing in Europe where the PlayStation brand is stronger. Even in the UK, hardware sales are in decline year on year for the 360 but the PS3 is down less due to recent price drop. There is little chance that, even with a select group of blockbusters in the last quarter, the year will turn around. Software forecasts should be single figure decline for the calendar 2011 results in USA and Europe.
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Johnathon Swift6 years ago
Welcome, 6 year old hardware, to market saturation and economic down times! Remember everyone, it's all "social" games fault. Zynga will, oh they're down too.
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers6 years ago
@ Nicholas: [link url=

PS3 is doing well. In fact, for the "haves" the the AAA gaming industry, they're still doing quite well, and there's no reason to panic. What we're seeing is a slow shift towards spend online (be it on PC or consoles) and there's also a general matter of hardware/software interest in the Wii just not being what it once was. It's a great time to release AAA software on current gen systems, but we're probably reaching a peak if we haven't already passed it.
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Tony Johns6 years ago
I think this console generation has perhaps gone on for the longest since the 1980's. Perhaps a little too long considering we are witnessing a fall in the hardware sales.

But is this really a bad thing? Like it is not like we are expecting people to keep on buying consoles that they already have?

I think we have seen perhaps the greatest console generation ever in the way that videogames have been developed as well as the public perception of what a videogame is and how people could play them on different devices.

Even I would consider that Apple has officially come into the hardware market with their releases of the iPhone and the iPad in recent years, changing the way that games are being played.

Also RIP Steve Jobs, your work with Apple will never be forgotten from the Apple 2 computers of the late 70s to the iPhone and iPad systems of the late last decade and recent years.
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James Ingrams Writer 6 years ago
@Kyle Davidson. In the games market, a product still being a seller 11 months on shows stagnation - not how good a title is. It quite simply means for 11 months nothing came out that sold well enough to supplant it!

On a plus side, this is U.S. Retail sales. So, for example, The Witcher 2,. released in May on PC only, has sold over 2 million, and yet is not on this chart because most sales are in Europe rather than North America.

There is a insula0raity attitude to U.S. publishers and media, and by extension U.S. gamers. If asked which sold best on PC Bioshock or STALKER, I believe over 80/100 of them would say Bioshock. In Europe it would be 50/50, yet the reality is STALKER sold more units on PC than Bioshock when looking at worldwide PC format sales.

The fact is, 2 years ago, a Russian PC RPG title called Space Rangers 2. a title most U.S. gamers have never heard of at all, sold 2 million copies in Eastern Europe alone! Worldwide it sold nearly 4 million. None of the income cane to the U.S. though. Hence the sales declines in this article....!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Ingrams on 15th October 2011 10:15am

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John Tearle Founder, CEO, Flix Interactive6 years ago
@James Ingrams

Really nice post and some very interesting facts. Russia, Europe and the East have never looked so appealing to the Western industry.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Tearle on 15th October 2011 9:58pm

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I think due to lack of true global games sales, one can only make informed guesswork at the sales figures.
This does not even account for digital vs retail sales

What we really need is sales figures from

Turkey, S Africa & MENA (Middle East, North Africa)
China & Russia
Asiapacific (korea, japan, malaysia, singapore, phillipines, Australia)
South America

I was hoping there are some private groups with these sales figures already, but do not know of publically open informatics about this
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Myles Shepard blogger/reviewer 6 years ago
Sales are down because the big games are yet to come out. End of October and November. Expecting big big numbers.
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