Earlier this week, a pair of industry analysts released its predictions for the NPD Group's upcoming October US gaming software sales data release, guessing that game sales for the month were down 9-11 percent. Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson joined the chorus of naysayers today with a particularly pessimistic prediction that software sales would be off 20 percent from October 2008's levels.
Wilson blamed the shortfall on the decisions of Activision and MTV Games to move their major rhythm game releases up to September this year. Last year, Rock Band 2's multiplatform releases were staggered from September through December, while Guitar Hero World Tour debuted in late October. This year's The Beatles: Rock Band launched September 9, with Guitar Hero 5 debuting the prior week.
Wilson also weighed in on one big rhythm game that actually did launch this October, Activision's upstart mash-up effort DJ Hero. The analyst said the game started slow, estimating the turntable-bundled title sold 175,000 copies at retail. However, Wilson noted that it arrived in stores with just five days left in the NPD's October reporting period, which ran from October 4 to October 31.
Other games for which Wilson gave his predictions included Electronic Arts projects Brutal Legend (estimated 300,000 sold), FIFA 10 (estimated 250,000 sold), and NBA Live 10 (estimated 225,000 sold). The analyst also pegged sales of 2K Games' hoops sim NBA 2K10 and Gearbox-developed Borderlands at 375,000 each.
Wilson's predictions should be validated (or not) soon, as the NPD Group is expected to release its October retail gaming industry sales figures Thursday evening.