Analysts: August game sales to rise 20 percent or more

Quartet of industry watchers agree NPD figures will show growth for August, but expect slowdown for remainder of year.

While professional gaming analysts are all paid to bring their knowledge and expertise to bear upon the state of the industry, they frequently look at the same market and come to different conclusions. Not so this week, as the industry-tracking NPD Group is expected to release its US retail sales figures for August on Thursday, and four prominent analysts are all predicting more or less the same results in investors notes.

Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian and Pacific Crest Securities' Evan Wilson both settled on expectations of 20 percent growth in software sales for the month, while Electronic Entertainment Design and Research's Jesse Divnich put the uptick at 21 percent. Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter was the most bullish of the group, suggesting game sales would jump 23 percent. Given last August's $488 million in software sales, those predictions would put the expected software tally between $585 million and just over $600 million.

Sales weren't the only thing the group agreed on. They all mentioned the explosive growth of last year's September-through-December period, and noted that it would be more difficult for the industry to post the same kind of year-over-year software sales jumps that have been seen thus far in 2008. Wilson suggested that in September at least, that could be offset for retailers by a strong slate of PC releases including Spore, Crysis Warhead, Warhammer Online, and Civilization: Colonization. However, he also noted that monthly NPD numbers don't include PC game sales.

As for the month's biggest release, Electronic Arts' Madden NFL 09, all four indicated that this year's installment of the football franchise has been stopped for little or no gain. According to their own checks, sales of the game were about the same as Madden NFL 08, leaving EA to rely on Rock Band and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 to drive sales growth for the month.

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Discussion

40 comments
threedown
threedown

too many hyped games coming up for their to be any kind of slow down, theirs atleast 8 games coming in the next few months that are must buys for me, usually theirs only 2 or 3 games im looking forward too... gamers know what is on the horizon

grigjd3
grigjd3

Fuezion, they aren't saying there won't be good sales later in the year, they are saying that sales won't grow compared to the same time last year. Think about all the games that came out as we neared the holiday season in 07. They sold tremendous numbers. The claim being made is that those months will be hard to compete with this year. On the other hand, August last year had far less sales than October last year, so it's not quite as difficult to post a large percentage growth in sales on August of this year.

Fuezion
Fuezion

I somewhat disagree with NPD! Reason being, that between September and November there are going to be some great releases. Even though the market is slow or even slowing I still believe that the industry will post high numbers due to Star Wars:TFU; Rockband 2; Guitar Hero 4: World Tour just to name a few. Although, once the games have been released I believe there is going to be a hefty drop in games, with a 5 to 10 percent increase in consoles, maybe even 15 percent. It is mostly going to be up to Sep-Oct releases!

dynomitemasta
dynomitemasta

It's not just gaming, . . EVERYTHING is slowing, housing, auto, retail in general. Plus the fact that there are like 50 games coming out this fall and winter so for the average Joe, you just can't afford to buy all the games that you want, that's common sense. I think the 360 with the price cut will be the console to beat around the holidays. The $199 price point will be do-able for many parents........just don't look for a lot of those NEW $60 games to come with it kids.

yunarce19
yunarce19

im planning to get Bioshock for the ps3 and nba 2k8 and nbi live 09 this october..... perhaps, rock band 2 and resistance 2 this holiday season...

VenomRitual
VenomRitual

analysts can say anything positive nowadays and they'll be right. with summer break not done, and madden coming out, i could easily say a rise. but 20% is way too high. i think they're confusing August with October.

taxman25
taxman25

With games like Fable II,Fallout 3,Golden Axe:Beast Rider,LOR:Conquest,Star Wars:Force Unleashed,Gears of War 2 (just to name a few) due out before the end of the year. I don't think that there will be a slowdown.

robbieboyd11078
robbieboyd11078

october onwards is when the biggest sales spike will occur just look at all the titles being released

coold_steam
coold_steam

many games will be released this month therefor their will be more sales and more income but i dont think this will end in the end of this year ,actully it grow more and more

RangerG
RangerG

Are they even looking at the game lineup? A slowdown? Impossible.

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

An analyst is just a carnival fortune teller in a suit. In the end they just never know what is going to happen.

Assasinnation
Assasinnation

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

I don't believe there'll be a slowdown in sales just that it may be difficult to top last year's sales records through the same monthly periods since there will be so many AAA titles that will drain many consumers pockets b 4 they can even get to purchase all of the games that they were anticipating!!

Un4givingAsault
Un4givingAsault

4 of the most highly anticipated games are coming out later this year. I guess i agree, GOW2, fable II, fallout 3, and left for dead probly won't sell that much(Sarcasm).

jasonbarbour
jasonbarbour

predict slowdown the rest of year? are they crazy - or have they just not seen the games lineup... there are so many awesome games coming out in the next 4 months that my wallet is crying... games i would normally buy without question i may have to skip so i can afford the even better games that will come out a week or 2 after it, i see enough games to keep me coming back to best buy for the next year all combined into a short span when i cant possible get them all, ill have to wait till next year to buy some... Sure last year had halo and cod4, but this year has resistance 2, gears 2, fable 2, cod5, far cry 2, and many more AAA titles... seems like this alone could beat 2 AAA titles from last year and this isn't even a complete list, or even half of the list of highly anticipated titles for this fall....

Waffen_SS84
Waffen_SS84

Socom, Far Cry 2, COD5... ARgh my wallet!

NandoSupes
NandoSupes

so many great games not enough cash lol

okassar
okassar

My DEFINITE buys are Gears of War 2(W00T!!!),Rock Band 2,and Fable 2.COD5,Tom Clancy's End War,and Halo Wars are strong MAYBE'S.I'll most likely stick to the first three and rent at least 2 of the other 3.ACTUALLY,Banjo Nuts and Bolts is also a strong maybe,I mean seriously,it's only 40 bucks and Banjo brings back so many N64 memories,and I think you get a code for the original game if you but Nuts and Bolts.I wouldn't say this year is stronger than the last, though,but it's at the same level IMO.

snakes3425
snakes3425

Not surprised, the best are always saved for last.

jakob_187
jakob_187

They expect the rest of the year to have less sales?! ARE YOU KIDDING?! Rock Band 2...Warhammer Online...Guitar Hero World Tour...SOCOM...Resistance 2...Gears 2...Fallout 3...Far Cry 2...Fable 2...I'm sorry, but the lineup for this holiday season basically says that after August is where the money is gonna be AT! What I think is more interesting is that there is also a good listing of ORIGINAL IPs that are hitting this holiday season that will probably have strong-as-hell showings too. For instance: Left 4 Dead Dead Space Little Big Planet Facebreaker Star Wars: Force Unleashed EndWar LOTR: Conquest Okay, so two of those listed are with licenses, but still original IPs so to speak. The third is Tom Clancy-based, but regardless... So when it comes down to it...I mean, there is a TON of potential for this holiday season to be both a time of sales and innovation in the industry!

zero9167
zero9167

well.... the first game i bought since xmas 2007 was in august so i wouldnt doubt it :P

mp5xm8
mp5xm8

So many good games coming out late 2008-2009

lilhg
lilhg

wait till oct. then its going to grow

spartanlaser
spartanlaser

i think this year will be even bigger than last year by far rock band 2 gh4, fallout 3, GTA IV just to name a few. oh and dont forget cod5

akiwak
akiwak

So many great games coming out that I think it will surpass last year also. I would also like to thank the Wii for bringing new people into the gaming world. With the Wii doing this we can continue to see growth for years to come, that coupled with lower prices for consoles. I've been gaming for 20+ years and don't plan on stopping; I also try to get more people to join.

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

Madden was a flop, lucky that NCAA 09 picked up the pace. Games cost a lot more today and discounts are far and few between. It is no wonder that the gaming industry is doing so well. Now with all those profits will we as games see an improved game quality? We gamers know this answer.

dtujd2
dtujd2

There are way too many great games coming out between now and the end of the year for the industry to not experience an additional growth surge. Maybe not as dramatic as what we have seen so far in '08. Then again, when Little Big Planet, Left 4 Dead, Fable 2, Fallout 3, Gears 2, and Resistance 2 all drop literally within weeks of each other...I don't know how sales can do anything but explode in a way that we may not have even seen yet!

newb16
newb16

Ooh I cant wait fore September and October:)

bigd575
bigd575

I thank it will be close to last years.

the_greenzero
the_greenzero

Not bad, imagine October's sales with Far Cry, Fable, Dead Space, and other games that come out.

SHARPSHOOTER25
SHARPSHOOTER25

Just wait until Gears of War 2 comes out. Then you'll see growth.

Sk8erHeadshot
Sk8erHeadshot

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BRAWLL
BRAWLL

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p0rkp1e74
p0rkp1e74

the funny thing is there are as many highly anticipated releases this fall so i think it will be close to last year's numbers

HyruleanLink
HyruleanLink

KInda slow lately for software. Just not many games have been released.

rmurph142
rmurph142

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

FFbest
FFbest

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