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'Core' US game sales grew 17% in last 6 months, says analyst

Ben Schachter details underlying strength in traditional games-buying market

Broadpoint AmTech's Ben Schachter has released research outlining the sales of core videogame titles in the past six months, pointing out that sales in that sector were up by 17 per cent year-on-year.

That seems at odds with the official NPD data, which cited the overall industry numbers were down 12 per cent in that time - but Schachter argues that without including the music game genre or Nintendo platforms, the picture is quite different.

"We believe that 'core' gamers will drive videogame packaged goods growth in 2010 and beyond," he explained, according to IndustryGamers. "2009 was a horrible year for the video game industry and its investors, but a closer analysis highlights that much of the weakness (since Q1) was attributable to the Music genre and Nintendo platforms.

"Core gamer software (which we define as Xbox 360 plus PlayStation 3, but excluding the music genre) has actually grown 17 per cent year-on-year over the past six months in the US according to the NPD Group - while music was down 52 per cent and Nintendo platforms were down 11 per cent.

"2010 should see a return to growth, with packaged software growth driven by a strong core gamer pipeline, easier comparables in music and Nintendo, a boost from motion sensing peripherals, and likely further hardware price cuts. We expect to see overall packaged goods growth in calendar year 2010, and we believe that publishers with strong 'core' game pipelines are best positioned to benefit."

One of the key sellers in that time was Modern Warfare 2, which set new entertainment industry launch records, and will certainly have been classified as a core game.

Meanwhile the number of traditional core titles released in the October-November period was down, with a host of key games now set for release in what could be the strongest Q1 ever.

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