Just recently the NPD Group, a market research firm that tracks video game sales, released a study that predicts that holiday sales this year are going to be down from last year. This drop in sales, while only 5%, is something that can probably be partially attributed to the recent flood of delayed games. Crysis 2, SOCOM 4, Portal 2, F.E.A.R. 3, and the recently delayed LittleBigPlanet 2 are just a few of the titles that have seen their expected late 2010 releases pushed into 2011.
For their study, the NDP Group surveyed over 2,000 individuals and discovered that as few as 15% were planning on purchasing a video game this upcoming holiday season. During their 2009 survey it was found that 20% of Americans were planning on purchasing a game, leaving 2010 with an expected 5% drop in sales. The NPD also just recently released their 2010 gift chart with video games placing at the number eight spot behind clothing, toys, movies, books, electronics, and accessories. This 5% drop appears to be in line with the overall decline the industry has seen this year. In 2010, non-PC US retail game sales total $8.37 billion, which is an 8% decline from the first eight months of last year.
Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redemption, God of War III, and Final Fantasy XIII all came out early in the year, leaving Halo Reach, CoD: Black Ops, Fallout: New Vegas, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and Gran Turismo 5 as the only real tent pole console releases for the holiday season. Sure, that sounds like a lot of great games to play, and no doubt I left out a few notable titles. But the reduced number of AAA titles, combined with the current state of the economy, makes the drop in sales figures unsurprising. Hopefully, next year we may see some improvement when all the delayed to 2011 titles hit the shelves.
So Ranters, what do you think of this year's games? Have you had enough to play, or have you (like me) been noticing long stretches with little of interest to play? How many games are you looking to pick up during the holiday shopping season? Please let us know in the comments.