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Wedbush: December U.S. Game Market Down

In analyst predictions ahead of the official NPD Group results later this week, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter has released a report predicting December U.S. video game...
In analyst predictions ahead of the official NPD Group results later this week, Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter has released a report predicting December U.S. video game sales of $1.58 billion, down around 7% on December 2004, which saw sales of almost $1.7 billion. While not as bad as November's confirmed results, which saw November sales down around 18%, Pachter indicated that last year's exceptionally strong continued sales of games including Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Halo 2 are again adversely affecting results for this year, which also suffered due to the console transition. Naming particular game titles continuing to fare well in December, despite having launched in earlier months, Pachter cited LucasArts’ continued excellent performer, Star Wars Battlefront 2, as well as Activision’s Call of Duty 2 Big Red One iteration for existing console platforms, THQ’s perennial wrestling update WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2006, and the Electronic Arts franchise continuations Need for Speed Most Wanted and Madden NFL 06. More information on December's actual NPD values, albeit filtered through analyst reports, should be available this Friday, with the issuing of the December results also allowing analysts to calculate 2005's overall results compared to 2004's record showing of $7.3 billion.

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