US Video game sales ‘dip’ despite mega-launches

Despite the latest must-have games, Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops II, producing strong sales, it was not enough to prevent a drop in annual video game sales in the US according to research firm NPD.

NPD suggests that sales of hardware and software sold by retailers were down 11% on the year in November. Also in November, Nintendo’s latest offering, the Wii U and Assassins Creed had also just gone on sale. However, the released figures do not include digital downloads.

Despite an overall retail video game decline of 11%, November had the smallest year-over-year decrease we have seen for dollar and unit sales so far this year,” NPD said in a statement.

“Overall entertainment software units decreased by 15%, however, when comparing the performance of the top five titles from this year to last, we see a rise in unit sales of 5% – games outside of the top five sold less, leading to overall declines.”

Figures may have also fallen due to the fact that there were fewer releases in November than in 2011 when titles such as Skyrim, Uncharted 3, and Modern Warfare 3 were among some such titles that went on sale.

In recent days, Activision, Microsoft and Nintendo have all been speaking of the success of their latest products.

Black Ops 2 topped $1bn (£624m; 773m euros) worth of global sales in its first 15 days of release, said Activision Publishing. It added that it had achieved the milestone a day quicker than the movie Avatar did in 2009.

Microsoft has not provided such a comparable figure for Halo 4 but has said that it had sold more than 50 million games in the franchise have been sold. Nintendo also revealed that it had sold 400,000 Wii U’s during the first week of its release.