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Video game sales continue to slide in February, Xbox still top console

The video game industry continued to struggle in the United States last month as sales slid yet again according to market research firm The NPD Group. After dropping 34% year-over-year to $750.6 million in January, total video game hardware, software and accessory sales in the U.S. dipped to $1.06 billion in February, down 20% from the same period in 2011. Hardware sales dropped 18% to $381.4 million, software sales declined 23% to $464.4 million and accessory sales were down 16% to $215.2 million. “Outside of new physical retail sales, we estimate that the consumer spend on other methods to acquire content including used games, full game and add-on content downloads, social network games, mobile games, rentals and subscriptions accounted for an additional $550 – $600 million in sales, which would bring total content spend across both retail and these other spend methods to $1.0B-$1.1B for February,” NPD Group analyst Anita Frazier said. “Our official quarterly estimate of the total Q1 2012 consumer spend in these areas will be released in our Q1 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report in June.” Frazier noted that Microsoft’s Xbox was the best-selling hardware platform in February for the seventh straight month. NPD’s list of the top-10 best-selling software titles in February follows below.

February 2012 Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms incl. PC) Rank Publisher
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)** 1 Activision Blizzzard
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3, 360)** 2 Square Enix Inc.
UFC Undisputed 3 (360, PS3) 3 THQ
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (360, PS3, PC) 4 Electronic Arts
Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3) 5 Ubisoft
NBA 2K12 (360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PC, PS2) 6 Take 2 Interactive
Soul Calibur V (360, PS3)** 7 Namco Bandai Games
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)** 8 Bethesda Softworks
Twisted Metal 2012 (PS3) 9 Sony
Battlefield 3 (360, PS3, PC)** 10 Electronic Arts
Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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