The UK's largest specialist retailer GAME has continued to see sales decline in 2009, with a 13.9 per cent drop for the entire group in the last 18 weeks to December 5.
Despite hits titles such as Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and FIFA 10, and price cuts on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the UK and Ireland business dropped 16.6 per cent in like-for-like sales, with the International business down 6.7 per cent.
For the 44 weeks to December 5, total group sales are now down 15.1 per cent compared to the same period last year, UK and Ireland sales fell 16.6 per cent and International sales slipped 11.5 per cent.
"Recent console price cuts from Sony and Microsoft have increased demand, though revenues from increased unit sales of these formats have not offset the overall fall in hardware revenues," explained Peter Lewis, chairman of GAME.
"Since the half year, there have been a number of major software releases including Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and FIFA 10, which both broke records in their first week of launch. However, the exceptionally strong performance of these titles was in part offset by softer than expected sales of some other releases."
The company also singled out increased competition from UK supermarkets as a factor in falling sales.
GAME said that it continues to invest in online sales, with now over 700 PC games available to download from its digital delivery service, and it has also launched another three consumer websites in Europe.
The company noted that the next eight weeks through the Christmas period usually account for 25 per cent of annual turnover, and it expects to take advantage of an installed base of 27.2 million third generation consoles in the UK. January also looks strong, said the Lewis, with titles such as Mass Effect 2 from EA and Sega's Vancouver 2010.
"Consequently, while the wider economic conditions and prevailing videogames market trends lead us to approach the critical Christmas period cautiously, the Board believes the Group is well positioned to deliver a solid outturn for the year," added Lewis.