The NPD Group will report September sales on Thursday, and according to one analyst, they will not be pretty. Cowen & Company industry watcher Doug Creutz released a note to investors today predicting that total packaged game sales dipped 28 percent year-on-year.
A bright spot on the sheet was retail PC games, according to Creutz, who expects sales in this market to surge 101 percent year-over-year based on the launch of World of Warcraft's four expansion, Mists of Pandaria.
The top-performer for September, Creutz predicts, will be Madden NFL 13 at 2.16 million units, followed by Borderlands 2 at 1.57 million. For retail PC, he forecasted Mists of Pandaria to have sold 640,000 units during the month, noting that the majority of sales were downloaded digitally, a channel that NPD does not track.
Blizzard Entertainment announced last week that Mists of Pandaria had sold 2.7 million units during its first week across all channels.
Additionally, Creutz does not believe declines will turn around in any significant way anytime soon. Though the fall software release slate and the launch of the Wii U will boost sales somewhat, he still predicts double-digit declines year-on-year software sales through the end of 2012. This bleak outlook is due to the "continued weakness" of the Wii and the forthcoming end to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation console cycle, he said.
Lastly, Creutz reiterated that new consoles from Microsoft and Sony are potentially in line for a launch during fall 2013.