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'Skylanders,' 'NBA 2K' lead another weak month in video game sales

November 08, 2012|By Ben Fritz
  • "NBA 2K 13" was the best-selling video game in October.
"NBA 2K 13" was the best-selling video game in October. (2K Games )

A new basketball game and a sequel to the combo game/toy line "Skylanders" were two spots of good news in what was otherwise a grim month for the video game business.

Take-Two Interactive's "NBA 2K 13" was the best-selling video game during October, according to the NPD Group, and outsold last year's "NBA 2K 12" by more than 60%.

Activision Blizzard's "Skylanders: Giants" was only the No. 10 game, but outsold last year's "Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure" during its first month on sale. More impressively, sales of toys that players can use to activate characters in the game were four times as high as the same period last year. As a result, sales of video game accessories were up 5% to $136 million, the only category to rise.

Overall sales of video game software dropped 25% in the U.S. to $452 million. Including consoles and accessories, video game industry revenue fell 25 % to $756 million.

Including digital platforms, NPD analyst Liam Callahan estimated that total spending in September was just under $1.2 billion.

Beyond "Skylanders" and "NBA 2K," "other sequels new to the market did not perform well compared to prior iterations," Callahan said.

Among the new sequels that underperformed were Capcom's horror game "Resident Evil 6" and Electronic Arts' military shooter game "Medal of Honor: Warfighter."

November should be a big one for the industry with the launch of Nintendo's new console the Wii U, along with the highly anticipated games "Assassin's Creed III," "Halo 4" and "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2."

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