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Major Industry Retail Markets Down 8 Percent In 2009

Three of the major retail markets in video games -- the U.S., Japan and the U.K -- saw combined sales down 8 percent in 2009, according to new data that also looks at the correlation between number of releases and unit sales.
Three of the major retail markets in video games -- the U.S., Japan and the U.K -- saw combined sales down 8 percent in 2009, according to new data. An alliance among the countries' tracking firms, NPD, Enterbrain and GfK Chart-Track, produced the comprehensive report on a challenging year at retail for the games industry. The UK fared the worst with a 14 percent decline, mainly due to strong portable title performance last year. In Japan, where there were multiple million selling DS titles like Tomodachi Collection, Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver and Dragon Quest IX, the decline was much smaller at 2 percent. The U.S. market saw a 7 percent decline. 2009 saw more titles launch in the U.S. than in past years, and the NPD's Anita Frazier points out that despite talk of SKU reduction to increase quality -- and with it, goes the theory, sales -- the number of titles hasn't diminished. "The year end data from 2009 shows us that the number of titles entering the market is still growing," says Frazier. "778 new titles were released in 2009, up from the 764 in 2008." "So, while there has been no noticeable slow down in the number of titles launched each year, we do see some evidence of a converse relationship between the number of titles launched and the average unit sales of a title," she adds.

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