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NPD April 2010: Games sales down 26% for the month

Friday, 14th May 2010 00:21 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

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The NPD Group has issued its industry results from April, and it looks like the market as a whole was down 26 percent to $766.2M, and is down year-to-date by 11 percent.

Software fell to $398.5M, which is a drop of 22 percent, and hardware seemed to get hit the hardest with a 37 percent decline to $249.3M. Accessories, which usually do quite well, were down 9 percent to $118.4M.

NPD’s Anita Frazier called it “worst year-over-year decline since July ’09, and the fourth largest year-over-year percentage decline ever after September 2000, June ’09 and July ’09.”

Part of the overall decline, according to Frazier, was the upsurge in the portable market, which accounted for 25 percent of total money spent, and caused the 61 percent decline from April 2009.

“Last year the DS sold more than 1 million units so that was always going to be a pretty tough number to comp,” she said, “but even with the decline from last year, the DS was the best-selling hardware system of the month and its closing in on the PS2 as the best-selling hardware system of all time.

“Part of the decrease from last year can be attributed to Easter shifting. Last year, Easter fell in mid-April so most Easter shopping was accounted for in April sales.

“This year, that shopping would have fallen in March, so that could account for about $55 million of the decline from last year.

“Interestingly, the decline in software sales seems to have been driven by catalog titles and March ’10 releases which fell off more dramatically in their second month at market than did the March new releases last April. The April ’10 new releases actually performed very favorably in aggregate as compared to last April’s new releases.”

We’ve posted the hardware sales in full for you here, and software sales are through here.

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