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Analysts Divided On November Video Game Sales Estimates

Ahead of the November NPD Group U.S. retail sales data scheduled to be released Thursday, analysts have predicted year-over-year growth for video game software, though their estimates vary by as roughly 7 percent.
Ahead of the November NPD Group U.S. retail sales data, to be released tomorrow, analysts have predicted year-over-year growth for video game software, though their estimates vary by roughly 7 percent. On Monday, for instance, Wedbush Securities' Michael Pachter estimated that U.S. video game retail software would increase 3 percent year-over-year, totaling $1.5 billion in all. Recent estimates from Sterne Agee's Arvind Bhatia are even more optimistic, predicting that software sales will increase by "at least" 10 percent from last year ($1.6 billion), with high-end estimates going as high as 15 percent ($1.67 billion). Both analysts agree that leading games for the month will include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Uncharted 3, and Saints Row: The Third. Bhatia also said Assassin's Creed Revelations will see healthy performance, continuing the growth of Ubisoft's annual action-adventure franchise. For December, Sterne Agee estimated that software sales data would remain flat or show a slight increase from last year, compared to an 8 percent drop in 2010. Last month, NPD data showed software sales below analyst estimates. For October 2011, U.S. retail game software saw an increase of 3 percent, which fell well short of Wedbush Securities' estimated increase of 14 percent and Sterne Agee's projected increase of 10 to 15 percent.

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