It has been a lean year for the game industry, with sales dropping nearly every month when compared to 2009. That lamentable trend looks likely to continue, according to a study just released by the NPD Group, a leading market research firm.
According to a survey of more than 2,000 respondents, only 15 percent of US consumers plan on buying a game this upcoming holiday season. That's a 5 percent drop from the 20 percent of Americans for which games were a top buy for gifts in 2009. The slip also comes despite the looming releases of such blockbusters as Call of Duty: Black Ops, Gran Turismo 5, and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
Games ranked 8 out of 10 in NPD's 2010 gift chart, just above food and below accessories. In first place was clothing, followed by toys, movies or DVDs, books, and electronics. In ninth place was music, followed by fragrances.
NPD also reported that 62 percent of consumers plan on doing research before purchasing holiday gifts, and 44 percent will comparison shop before plunking their money down. Some 37 percent said they will use a circular or ads when deciding to buy, while 33 percent said they will compare online prices to those found in brick-and-mortar stores.