Analysts predict May sales shrinkage

Monthly NPD sales report expected to show first three-month US software sales slide since 2006; UFC Undisputed, EA Sports Active projected as top new releases.

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With blockbusters like Grand Theft Auto IV and Mario Kart Wii enjoying million-selling launches in April of 2008, there was little doubt among game industry analysts that overall game sales for April of 2009 would come up short year-over-year. With the industry-tracking NPD Group preparing to release its US retail sales for May later this week, analysts sent out investor notes with their predictions, and once again they are in agreement that sales will be down.

Overall game sales may have been bloodied, but analysts think games like EA Sports Active and UFC: Undisputed did just fine.

Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter was the bear of the bunch, projecting software sales down 17 percent for the month. Electronic Entertainment Design and Research analyst Jesse Divnich pegged a 15 percent slide for games, noting that this would be the first three-month span of consecutive year-over-year losses for the industry since the first quarter of 2006.

Pacific Crest Securities' Evan Wilson put the number at 12 percent, due largely to May 2008's continued sales of the aforementioned blockbusters and the launch of enduring chart-topper Wii Fit. Pachter also seized on that dynamic duo, saying the two titles accounted for 26 percent of total game sales in May 2008.

Janco Partners' Mike Hickey was the most optimistic of the lot, saying software sales would be down just 7 percent year-over-year. That optimism is apparently fleeting, as Hickey also cautioned that June could see "a deep contraction," with sales down somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 percent from the same month in 2008, which saw hits in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for the PlayStation 3 and Guitar Hero: On Tour for the DS.

The quartet of analysts was also in agreement over which titles performed the best during the month. UFC 2009 Undisputed and EA Sports Active--which has already sold 600,000 units worldwide--were singled out by all the analysts as among the month's biggest hits, with three of four also mentioning the first-party games Infamous and/or Punch-Out.

Discussion

34 comments
necronaux
necronaux

Not very hard to predict. No holidays around. No big (i.e. really good) titles due out.

gameking5000
gameking5000

Analysts beed to be a little mor eoptimistic then maybe we can get some better sales :)

sg5
sg5

@ DR. Mcteabag... I agree with you 100%..

sg5
sg5

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

Dr_McTeabag
Dr_McTeabag

Why did game sales slump? Hmm, I don't know, how about the fact that there were no freaking games last month? I'm sick of developers saying "Holiday this year!" Spread out the flow and your sales will be better and I will be happier.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

im guessing wii and ds as top 2 sellers, with 360 psp ps3 then ps2 following

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

analysts articles on gamespot are about as popular as kramers rants at the laugh factory

Pete5506
Pete5506

I could see how they are not doing so well

jayd02
jayd02

everyone who has a ps3 bought infamous because its the only exclusive game ps3 has out that is decent at the moment when god of war comes out then all the ps3 owners will get that its just common sense when halo 3 came out all the xbox 360 owners got that

blankshore
blankshore

@Kravyn81 You, my friend, are a genius

blankshore
blankshore

Punch-Out!! has been selling really well, which makes me happy. One of the best Nintendo games ever--it deserves great sales.

BlueBirdTS
BlueBirdTS

Despite this apparent slump, the gaming industry as a whole is alive and kicking. There is going to be some year-to-year variation depending on what blockbuster titles were released in the past and current years. In general though, the gaming population seems to be growing and people are spending more and more of their time and money on this hobby.

taylormadederek
taylormadederek

Infamous, RE5, SF4, and Halo Wars are the only real "good" games that have come out this year so far. Last year we had Mario Kart (crap in my opinion), Smash Bros. Brawl, GTA4 (crap again). Either way those games from last year are wayyyy bigger players so of course we will be down this year. \ \ Remember down just means down from last year.....they still made MILLIONS AND MILLIONS and good for them I love games.

Ljiggaman
Ljiggaman

I think the gaming industry will bounce back after all we've seen at E3.

D-KLeen1965
D-KLeen1965

Doesnt matter i still reserved Overlord2 360 and overlord legends wii

dogpigfish
dogpigfish

The month before E3, besides nothing has come out in May. Not exactly a "big" release month. Last year we didn't have 9.2% unemployment either.

akiwak
akiwak

I bought UFC 2009 and am very pleased with my purchase. I have created my own fighters in the different weight classes and have had them compete online against my friends characters. I am very pleased with my fighters as they remain unbeaten!!!

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

"I was in the pool! I was in the pool!" If you get that reference...kudos :D

scarface_dm
scarface_dm

If Killzone2 didnt sell as well as expected, I doubt Infamous will But Who Knows really ???

kkevguy47k
kkevguy47k

i disagree... everyone that has a ps3 practically bought infamous it seems like around here... its so awesome

ldonyo
ldonyo

Who cares what analysts have to say? They don't include direct download numbers, so they aren't giving the full picture, as usual. Heck, the only people that care about this are the marketing and PR guys.

Bucketoffish
Bucketoffish

I've seen some local numbers, and these predictions are not going to hit the mark. Look at this month's titles alone. Red Faction, Infamous, and Prototype are going to change sales numbers. I don't even want to think what Christmas sales are going to look like with all of the triple A titles releasing within three months of each other. We are all hurting this month and last month so far, but just looking at Prototype and Infamous sales in my district, I don't think that is going to be case locally.

Sins-of-Mosin
Sins-of-Mosin

UFC Undisputed should easily sell a million copies by the end of this month. That's if they didn't in May and this is just US sales. kkkkknaruto - I don't believe those numbers at all for UFC. I'll wait for the real numbers to come out in the next couple days.

burns112233
burns112233

"Analysts predict May sales shrinkage" It was in the pool! It was in the pool!

maverick_76
maverick_76

I think the 15-17% territory is the best estimate, just using my gut and not any fancy charts though.

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

Not many good games coming out! People don't waste their money foolishly now and buy the best games. Good games are coming this fall so the video game industry should prosper by that time.

kkkkknaruto
kkkkknaruto

also ufc has sold 330,000 units on da ps3 and 360,000 units on the xbox 360 coming to an approximate estimation of about 690,000 units together up to may 30th of sales. This is according to vgchartz. AND also this is worldwide sales not just america the same for infamous.

kkkkknaruto
kkkkknaruto

@JJ Marsh infamous has sold approximately 184,874 units up to may 30th of sales. This is according to vgchartz.

boba707
boba707

june should be good for wii as well as july

bgres077
bgres077

Cod water also predicts significant shrinkage.

JJ_Marsh
JJ_Marsh

I wonder how many units inFamous has sold thus far. Does anyone know?

BlackLotus08
BlackLotus08

assassinatur54, Full retail price $60 V.S. $20.00 and under. you'll be surprise that not many people can cough up $60. Not to mention the TON of games coming out this year.

assassinatur54
assassinatur54

I hate when people don't buy the good games but the crappy ones. I mean old games are out selling new ones! How the hell is that even possible?