NPD Reports Canada's First Game Sales Decline In 7 Years

Tracking firm NPD is reporting an 8.5% year-on-year first-quarter drop in game sales in Canada, but the group says it isn't due to the recession -- just less prominent games.
Whether or not the video game industry is recession-proof, being a hit-driven business gives it volatility: tracking firm NPD is reporting an 8.5 percent year-on-year first-quarter drop in game sales in Canada. The NPD Group's Matthew Tattle said the unusual drop isn't a result of the surrounding recession, but rather a simple reflection of early 2008 and early 2009's relative release lineups. "It may be tempting to attribute the decline in sales to the current state of the economy. However, on closer inspection, the first quarter of 2009 lacked the number of blockbuster titles that drove sales during the same period last year," he said, pointing to Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Rock Band, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl as key Q1 2008 drivers. The decline is the market's first such year-on-year drop since NPD began its tracking in 2002. Although the 8.5 percent figure applies to video game software, hardware, and accessories in total, most of the decline was due to hardware -- home consoles saw sales drop 14.5 percent, and portable consoles 21 percent. Their respective software categories declined only by 7.5 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.

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