Analyst: Industry sales to decline through 2012

Cowen & Company industry watcher Doug Creutz predicts double-digit dip for September and through end of the year; Madden NFL 13, Borderlands 2, Mists of Pandaria top performers during month.

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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.

Madden couldn't save September sales, Creutz says.

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.

Discussion

42 comments
Chogyam
Chogyam

industry wide consolitis. Casual gaming and lack of huge blockbusters, combined with a complacency of zero innovation....Next gen graphics will not help this industry get out of its current rut...

 

On the flip side...

 

Hello glorious PC gaming, you are always there for me!!!!!

tightwad34
tightwad34

Why don't you ask the devs after the holiday rush if they are hurting? Then report this complete B.S.

anshumansinghr
anshumansinghr

Well the new generation of consoles are due since 2009 I feel. And we PC gamers have to suffer with crappy graphics due to no improvement in graphic quality in most of games.

vault-boy
vault-boy

Sales are going to decline leading up to a new generation of consoles? Well I'll be damned.

nurnberg
nurnberg

The reason for this decline in my opinion is that the gaming market was becoming a bit bloated in the last few years.  Many gamers just realized that buying new games every week just creates a huge backlog that they will never be able to finish and it's not worth it especially when paying full price for every game.  I think the market will eventually stabilize, but some companies will shut down and less AAA games will be released.

Exquisite
Exquisite

Games I played the most this year: Team Fortress 2 (by a long long way), Diablo III, Terraria; none of which are state-of-the-art.  In any case, there doesn't seem to be much room to grow in terms of technological advancement in PC gaming (which is all I do, and with a crap GPU), so I agree with many comments that its the lack of refreshing ideas and fun designs that's limiting the gaming economy.

svaubel
svaubel

Not like anything really came out this year that was exceptional. It was all sequels, expansions, ports, ripoffs, or other crap.

 

Think Ive only bought five games this whole year.

SolidTy
SolidTy

2012 wasn't the greatest year in gaming, tbh. Sales declined due to too many cookie cutter, phoned in sequels/gameplay.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

This just in, Landsharkk, a game industry analysts, predicts the game industry to pick-up at the end of 2013 and continue to increase during the 2013 holiday season and the following year into 2014.

 

Now where's my m*****f*****g analyst check?

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

Why the industry declining?

Don't know, maybe its the massive amount of sequels and no original IP, or the immense quantity of worthless DLC and the fact consumer money is actually finite, or maybe its because consumer is trying to find a way to relax and let go the stress since the hobby they used to do that became a second job(and a very stressful one) due the constant dependency of internet for DRM, digital download, streaming and others.

mrsniper83
mrsniper83

So your saying that Halo4 and Black Ops 2 are not going to boost sales...these people don't know what they are talking about...

superkadeemx
superkadeemx

wow its been awhile since the last time i bought a game myself. ive been going back and playing a few retro games that i didnt have the chance to play when i was younger.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

I haven't really contributed much myself this year. The last game I bought, a couple of weeks ago, was Project Zero 2 for Wii. Prior to that I bought a game in May. Not a great way to keep the industry afloat but it is as the analyst pointed out; there just isn't much in the way of interesting software at this late stage in the PS3/360 cycle. Even the 3DS is a bit short on regular top quality titles, so I haven't bought anything new for it for months now. However there are plenty of games that I want for Wii U so I am sure that it will reignite my interest in some new games.  

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Highlight is PC gaming?  How about rephrasing the way it SHOULD read... Blizzard gaming.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

The only game I bought last month was Torchlight II.....

Well I did buy Infamous collection but that doesn't count really....

ydnarrewop
ydnarrewop

Wow no mention of Guild Wars 2 sales? And ya no big titles would mean meagre sales.

jasonlc3221
jasonlc3221

People are buying less console games because there is not really a "WOW" factor anymore. Nobody is impressed by the graphics anymore, too many franchises just pushing out the same game with a sequel digit tagged to it, and I'm sure there are other good theories as well. Anyone else have more theories to add?

XxTheEvilxX
XxTheEvilxX

I thought it has been too long since the latest Doomsday report from Eddie. But don't worry, EA will save us all. They will usher in our saving grace through the life saving miracle of Free 2 Play games, because they care. It will only be a micro-transaction here and there for you. No risk at all. Mwa Ha Ha...

 

They will save our consoles from the impending fires of hell that are destined to consume us all. Our mobile devices will be the ultimate gaming experience in place of AAA titles that nobody buys. They will slay the dragon of our gaming demise because EA wants to help us. No cat will be left stuck up a tree. No dog without food. For EA is our gaming savior. LMFAO

 

Um... Yeah...

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

I predict November will show an increase from last year. Black Ops 2, the Wii U launch, plus it'll be the first time since 2004 that a new Halo game will launch in November

Llama345
Llama345

If it is Oct. to Oct. How can they drop this low?  Skyrim, ME3 and the like.  What I did notice though is Black ops sold like 14 mil, and MW3 'only' sold 4 or so. That could be important year to year. 

deadruler08
deadruler08

What a surprise.  Low number of good games has led to low sales overall

mlcarter815
mlcarter815

This hasn't really been an exciting year for new games. 

vault-boy
vault-boy

 @SolidTy Dishonored and XCOM just came out, apparently those are going to be really good. Not to mention there are a few other new IPs, a couple of good sequels and some promising new games. Not to mention with new gens coming out soon I bet a lot of developers are turning to those.

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @Sohereiam Nope, the industry isn't declining, just sales.  And it's 100% because we are at the end of the current gen consoles life cycle.  Once the next gen consoles show up (excluding the Nintendo stuff in this statement) we will see record sales month after month for several years following.  Only to be met by another 'lowest point in the industry' near the end of that generation.  It's just a predictable cycle.

 

The amount of gamers has skyrocketed, but the sales are stale.  That's not really a decline in the industry.

mlcarter815
mlcarter815

 @kavadias1981 We shouldn't feel like it's our duty to keep any industry afloat. It is their duty to create compelling products. 

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

 @jasonlc3221 My theory is that many people have just moved onto other forms of gaming, lost interest in it, spend more time with the same game over an extended period rather than buy new games, poor advertising, erm... maybe there are too many games these days so people are spoilt for choice? Who knows though. But I do think the most likely reason is that the industry has become too expectant. After all, game sales are much higher now than they were 10 years ago. 

LindBergh2007
LindBergh2007

 @Spartan_418 As far as I'm concerned, from the looks of it, only Nintendo fans will buy Wii U this year.

 

I predict a 200,000 pre-order total with around 800,000 sold domestically by the end of the year. Dissapointing to say the least.

 

Wii U has had little to no marketing, how the hell does any SANE person expected it to be a instant hit?

Superzone
Superzone

 @mlcarter815 I couldn't agree more.  I have bought 5 new games this entire year.  FIVE.  That's the fewest number of new games I have bought in a year's span since I was in middle school and had no job 7+ years ago.  Very meh year for games indeed.

 

Luckily 2013 is looking absolutely killer so far.

cejay0813
cejay0813

 @mlcarter815 Think about it, will you be able to take another COD, Halo, Gears, Uncharted etc., for another year (after the current string of pending releases that is)??I know I can't... Give me something new and big.Not saying that I don't want future versions of these titles, but until we get new systems, it will be more of the same.

 

cejay0813
cejay0813

 @mlcarter815 In my opinion, it's because the current generation of consoles are beginning to show their age. Felt the same way right before the PS2 and XBOX dropped and also when the XBOX 360 and PS3 dropped.The limits of the hardware start to come front and center as devs look to build bigger and better titles. Of course my logic doesn't take PC into account.

 

mlcarter815
mlcarter815

 @Superzone  I remember watching the events at E3 this year and being very underwhelmed. The only game that really impressed me was Watchdogs. It's sad when the most exciting game in Microsoft's E3 show was a South Park game.

 

I can't even remember what games I've bought this year. I bought SWTOR and had some fun with it. Got my money's worth out of it seeing as I'm not looking for a game world to live in. I don't think I bought any new releases other than Crusader Kings II. I bought some older games that I haven't had a chance to play yet.

mlcarter815
mlcarter815

 @cejay0813 At least last year I had Skyrim, BF 3, and ME 3 to look forward to. Right now the games I'm most interested in are AC 3 and the enhanced version of Baldur's Gate. 

mlcarter815
mlcarter815

 @buccomatic  I don't get that impression from the regular gamers that I interact with in the real world on campus. It's more there just hasn't been much for big name games this year. 

Ad-verse
Ad-verse

 @mlcarter815  @kavadias1981  @jasonlc3221 I think that most people are waiting for the blockbuster titles that are coming out over the next few months and the Wii U (I know that I am). I was looking to buy Resident Evil 6, Code of Princess, Medal of Honor, Mugen Souls, and maybe even Lego: Lord of the Rings; but I have reconsidered... and will likely be saving my money for Wii U titles (already have Wii U pre-ordered). AC 3, NFS: MW (PC/Vita), Forza: horizon, Halo 4 (maybe), Paper Mario, etc... I really can't afford to buy games that only interest me a little. Also, I will be needing money for Q1 of 2013, because there will be great titles available then as well.

 

I am a supporter of new IP though (if they are good and intrerest me), so I pre-order Dishonored back in Sept. I'm looking forward to playing it later on today.

cejay0813
cejay0813

 @mlcarter815 Yeah those were all highly-anticipated games. There's a couple this year but like I said, it's more of the same. I'm looking forward to AC3, Halo 4 and COD. I'd be pissed if the next iterations of all three of these games were on current gen consoles