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NPD data shows US game sales up almost 16 per cent in April

The latest US videogame sales data from NPD has revealed a 16 per cent rise in software sales during April, reaching USD 699 million and ending seven consecutive months of decline.

The latest US videogame sales data from NPD has revealed a 15.5 per cent rise in software sales during April, reaching USD 699 million and ending seven consecutive months of decline.

The positive market performance was largely driven by current generation sales of Square Enix' Disney themed RPG title Kingdom Hearts II, EA's The Godfather, Eidos' Tomb Raider: Legend and Take-Two's Major League Baseball 2K6, which was the strongest selling Xbox title in the region.

Next-gen software sales have also made a significant contribution to the upturn in software sales, led primarily by Bethesda's Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Ubisoft's top-selling Xbox 360 title, Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter.

Handheld software titles also played their part, with Metroid Prime: Hunters becoming the top-selling Nintendo DS title, backed up by strong sales for Brain Training and MLB 2006: The Show on Sony's PSP.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier told Reuters: "The multi-month doldrums that have been facing the industry due to the console transition and the lack of truly blockbuster titles appears to be over, at least for now. We're on the road to recovery."

April PC software sales were up 12 per cent to USD 67 million, current generation software down by just USD 32 million compared to last year, and next generation software sales were up around USD 85 million.

Industry analysts at Wedbush Morgan noted: "The April sales figures reflected a reversal of a seven month software sales decline, although we expect the negative trend to resume in May and June," although the company admitted that X-Men: The Official Game and Over The Hedge from Activision, as well as Nintendo's New Super Mario Brothers would help maintain a positive performance in the coming months.

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Paul Loughrey

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