US video game sales fall 34 percent in January

(AP) -- U.S. retail sales of video game hardware, software and accessories fell 34 percent in January from a year earlier to $751 million due to the lack of new game titles, according to market researcher NPD Group.

NPD analyst Liam Callahan said the dearth of new games likely resulted in fewer people going to stores and buying other recent releases on impulse.

"Shoppers were not drawn to stores due to new launch activity," he said.

Callahan said sales of titles released before the holidays were down 31 percent in January compared to a year ago.

Sales of console and portable software - the video games themselves - fell 38 percent to $356 million.

That's a bigger decline than the 12 percent drop forecast by Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter.

Activision's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" was the top seller for the third-consecutive month following its early November release.

fell 38 percent to $200 million, while accessories sales were down 18 percent at $195 million. Sales were down because of the success of Microsoft's Kinect a year ago.

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Feb 10, 2012
The new games take too long to make and focus on all the wrong things.

Just search Youtube for videos of people using emulators to play old games, and of course doing speed run challenges and the like, because something lacks in the new ones.

Not to say everything new is bad, but not everything new is good.

All the fluff in modern games takes several years to make, and can end up being annoying.


Many of the lower quality cinematics in Starcraft 2 were more of an annoyance than entertainment. I found myself skipping them, and definitely skipped them on the second play through.

A few of the higher quality cinematics were golden though.

But the story was disappointing, and in some cases a few of the "good" unit abilities were actually stolen from 3rd party campaigns for the origina game in the early 2000's.

The story was too "one-linery" and cartoony compared to the original.

The point is, they missed their own mark, much less the fans.

Feb 10, 2012
A great dialogue and a great plot is more important than graphics.

A plot that retcon's half the original campaign or it's original expansion makes for a bad campaign.

nobody plays the multi-player mode now either. Even fewer people play it than the original, in spite of the better interface that was intended to give casual players a more level playing field. The interface can't make up for the skill and experience of the better players anyway, so the noobs get destroyed before they even live long enough to know what they're doing wrong, and Starcraft 2's tech tree and mechanics actually end up being less forgiving than the original.

The campaign produces completely ridiculous plot loopholes and nonsense. Raynor and half of one fleet destroy the Zerg, but in Broodwar 3 entire FACTIONS couldn't defeat one Zerg platform.

Finally, there are only two half-decent "professional" mini-game maps that came with this game, and only a FEW maps at all...after TEN years of development.

Feb 10, 2012
To be honest, I'd actually prefer if the console companies went out of business, and the game developers all just made PC games.

We have all kinds of port technology to allow for custom controllers and other interfaces for games.

the old consoles were updated as needed, and Nintendo had standards. Most of the games were very good. Sequels were usually good games in their own right.

Now, sequels are made just for the hell of it, to sell just on the momentum of the "Brand," even among the traditionally good developers.

Five sequels to a first person shooter, with only modest updates...

That's about as bad as buying the latest version of a football game; doesn't matter how many more bells and whistles you add, it's just a damn sequel.

Feb 10, 2012
I think if they counted mobile gaming, they'd find that US video game sales actually rose a fair bit since last year.

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