U.S. Games Sales Set Record In '02, Hardware Revenue Declines

The NPD Group yesterday released 2002 year-end totals for the sales of game hardware, software and accessories in the U.S., reporting that the industry grew 10 percent in 2002 over 2001.
According to NPD's data, the game industry generated $10.3 billion in sales, breaking the previous record high of $9.4 billion in 2001. Game software, consisting of both console and portable software, grew by 21 percent in dollar volume and sold 15 percent more units in 2002 than in 2001. The games cited as market drivers last year were Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Madden NFL 2003, Super Mario Sunshine, Spider-Man: The Movie, Halo and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell. Online-enabled games accounted for 15 percent of console software dollars during the August-December period, when consoles began rolling out online support. Despite the fact that the Xbox and Gamecube were only available for a couple of months in 2001, revenue from game hardware in 2002 actually declined slightly from 2001, due to price wars between console makers. Hardware revenue dropped four percent, taking in $3.5 billion versus $3.7 billion in 2001. Unit volume was up, though, by 10 percent. Console and portable accessories grew by nine percent in dollar volume over 2001. "In 2003, the video game industry should expect unit volume growth to outpace dollar volume growth in the hardware category," said Richard Ow, senior account executive with NPD. "Dollar volume will struggle for continued growth throughout 2003. The majority of the growth will come primarily from software sales, capitalizing on the hardware sold to date. The full power of the current generation of hardware is still unrealized. There is a barrage of new game software launches that will appeal widely to new video gamers, both old and young, expanding the software-to-hardware tie ratios of the previous generation," added Ow. Top 10 Selling Games in 2002, Ranked by Total U.S. Units: 1. PS2: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Rockstar Games, Oct. '02, $49) 2. PS2: Grand Theft Auto 3 (Rockstar Games, Oct. '01, $50) 3. PS2: Madden NFL 2003 (Electronic Arts, Aug. '02, $49) 4. GBA: Super Mario Advance 2 (Nintendo, Feb '02, $29) 5. PS2: Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (Sony Computer Ent., July '01, $24) 6. PS2: Medal Honor Frontline (Electronic Arts, May '02, $50) 7. PS2: Spider-Man: The Movie (Activision, Apr. '02, $45) 8. PS2: Kingdom Hearts (Square EA, Sept. '02, $49) 9. XBX: Halo Microsoft Nov. '01 $48) 10. GCN: Super Mario Sunshine (Nintendo, Aug. '02, $49)

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