June 5, 2011 |
At the video game industry's first Electronic Entertainment Expo 16 years ago, Sony Corp.'s PlayStation and Sega's Saturn dazzled attendees and defined the cutting edge of coolness with their CD drives and three-dimensional graphics. This week, as the industry gathers in downtown Los Angeles for its annual E3 extravaganza, some experts are questioning how significant those boxes of electronics really are in a rapidly changing video game business. After dominating the market for decades and making their way into 1 out of every 2 U.S. homes, consoles are beginning to face serious competition as teenagers and adults increasingly play games designed for smartphones, tablets and online social networks.
March 11, 2011 |
The video game industry received a rare lift in February, with sales rising 3% in the U.S. as consumers dug deeper into their pockets to buy motion controllers and consoles from Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. February's increase was only the third positive month of the last year for the industry. Americans spent $1.36 billion last month on games and consoles, up from $1.33 billion in February 2010, according to a report released Thursday by the market research company NPD Group. A 10% uptick in console sales helped to offset a 5% decline in the amount of money that players spent on games.
February 10, 2011 |
Striking the death knell for a once-hot music game business, Activision Blizzard Inc. said Wednesday that it would disband Guitar Hero and scrap development of a Guitar Hero title slated for this year. At the same time, the Santa Monica company told analysts during a conference call to announce fourth-quarter results that it would invest heavily in creating an online service dubbed BeachHead for an existing video game, Call of Duty. Activision, which provided little detail on the upcoming service, also dropped hints about a new product it plans to announce next week at Toy Fair in New York, as well as a new multi-player online title from its Blizzard Entertainment studio in Irvine.
January 14, 2011 |
If the video game industry were an arcade, you would be hearing the disappointing bloops that signal the player to try again. For the second year in a row, U.S. video game sales posted a decline, down 5.7% to $18.6 billion in 2010 from $19.7 billion in 2009, which was a decline from $21.4 billion in 2008, according to a report released Thursday by the NPD Group. Both consoles and games were walloped as consumers curtailed spending in an uncertain economy. Console sales fell 12.5% to $6.3 billion in 2010, while software sales fell 5.6% to $9.4 billion.
October 15, 2010 |
The video and computer game industry suffered its sixth consecutive monthly sales decline in September, pouring cold water on hopes of the industry ending the year on a high note. Sales of games, consoles and device peripherals totaled $1.2 billion last month, down 8% from a year earlier, according to NPD Group Inc., which tracks game sales. Despite the strong debut of Halo: Reach, sales of software fell 6% to $614 million. Hardware sales fared much worse, dropping 19% to $383 million in September.
August 13, 2010 |
Combined sales of video games and consoles fell for the fourth consecutive month in July, slumping 1% as U.S. consumers pulled back on buying new titles, with games for Nintendo Co.'s Wii suffering in particular. A 12% jump in sales of game consoles last month failed to entirely offset an 8% drop in sales of games to play on the devices. Overall, players spent $846.5 million for consoles, games and game peripherals in July, down slightly from $850.6 million a year earlier, according to NPD Group, a market research firm.
July 15, 2010 |
June gloom hit the video game industry hard, knocking sales of games and consoles down 6% last month from a year ago as anxious consumers kept a lid on spending. The game industry rang up $1.1 billion in retail sales in June, down from $1.17 billion a year earlier. The decline marks the ninth monthly sales drop in the last 12 months, according to figures released Thursday by the NPD Group Inc., a market research firm. Buyers were more likely to pick up a console than a game last month, lifting sales of devices such as Microsoft Corp.
July 2, 2010 |
Video game sales, which have been anemic in the past year, were partially rescued in May by an Italian plumber and a gunslinger. The dual debuts of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Red Dead Redemption in May helped resuscitate game software sales, which rose 4% to $466.3 million from a year earlier, according to the market research firm NPD Group. The uptick was much smaller than many industry watchers predicted. "The industry grew less than expected," said Evan Wilson, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Ore., who had predicted game sales would grow 15% in May. "This reflects the continued choppy industry that we have witnessed this year and last," Wilson said.
June 13, 2010 |
E3 is back. The Electronic Entertainment Expo, now in its 16th year, shrank into the shadows in 2007, after some game companies sobered up from the wretched excesses of previous shows with their ear-splitting demos, scantily clad models and million-dollar parties. After two years of self-imposed austerity that bordered on anesthetic, game companies cautiously stepped back into the old E3 mold last year. This year, game publishers are throwing caution overboard and plunging back into spectacle mode.
May 13, 2010 |
Sales of video games plunged 26% in April, the fourth-largest percentage drop ever, as players had fewer new games to choose from and ardor cooled for Nintendo Co.'s new hand-held DS game console. The game industry racked up $766 million in sales last month, down from $1 billion in April of last year, according to figures released Thursday from the NPD Group Inc., a market research firm. Sales of consoles suffered a 37% decline to $249 million, mostly because of a steep decline in the sale of the DS. Nintendo sold just 440,800 of the hand-held devices last month, compared with more than a million a year earlier.