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Analyst: Industry Sales To Rebound In March On Strong Core Slate

Mass Effect 2 may have sold 825,000 units in just five days of January sales, says analyst Doug Creutz -- who also predicts the U.S. retail game industry will return to monthly sales growth in March.
When NPD results for the month of January come out this week, expect year-over-year sales for U.S. retail game software to be down 2 percent, says Cowen Group analyst Doug Creutz -- who, like many analysts, pegs the coming March as the month the industry will finally see a return to growth thanks to core releases. "We expect industry software sales to return to year over year growth during Q1, most likely in March, due to a strong release slate of core gamer titles and vastly easier comps," says the analyst. Even though it only saw five days' worth of sales in January, Mass Effect 2 should come out as the month's top seller, says Creutz, predicting 825,000 units sold at U.S. retail. Creutz adds that he expects 430,000 units for THQ's Darksiders, and 300,000 units each for Electronic Arts' Army of Two: The 40th Day and Sega's Bayonetta -- the latter has sold 1.1 million units worldwide to date, according to Sega. Although EA recently saw its revenues decline on a quarterly basis, Creutz expects the publisher to be a January winner, with 20 percent year over year growth. In addition, THQ is expected to see the best comparison, says the analyst, predicting a 99 percent year over year sales increase for the Darksiders publisher.

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