The video game industry had a rough October — total sales across the board were $755.5 million, a drop of 25 percent year-on-year. Figures released by the NPD Group show that console sales falling 37 percent to $187.3 million was a primary factor, along with a 25 percent drop in software sales to $432.6 million. Accessories saw a slight 5 percent bump to $135.6 million, mostly fueled by the hugely successful Skylanders franchise.
This is the 11th straight month of falling sales for the industry, but there are mitigating factors here. Last October saw the release of banner titles such as Battlefield 3 and Batman: Arkham City, but arguably the biggest game this time around — Assassin's Creed III — went on sale right at the end of the month. November will also get a boost from the likes of Halo 4, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and the launch of the Wii U.
November will get a boost from 'Halo 4' and 'Call of Duty: Black Ops II'
It's also worth pointing out that the NPD only tracks physical game sales, so downloadable titles and mobile games aren't included. This means it's difficult to ascertain the impact that massive series like Angry Birds are having on the industry at large — clearly people are still spending money on video games, but is it at the expense of the traditional publishers? While it's normal for sales to slow near the end of console life cycles, the real question going into the next generation is how willing people are to spend on new hardware.