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Vidgame biz struggling despite sales

Revenue dips 7.6% despite 'Warfare 2,' other titles

Games like “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” a new Marios Bros. game and “Assassin’s Creed II” may have rung up blockbuster sales in November, but the tentpole titles still couldn’t help the videogame biz emerge from its months-long sales slump.”More positive economic news combined with frugal fatigue could positively impact industry sales during these last weeks of the holiday season,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier.

Revenue for the games industry was down 7.6% last month, according to new figures released by NPD Group. Overall, the biz is off 12% for the year.

“Modern Warfare 2,” which broke first- and five-day sales records, “New Super Mario Bros. Wii,” and the “Assassin’s Creed” sequel, however, helped make last month the second-best November ever for the games biz. The top 50 games this year sold 5% less units than did the top 50 last year.

The industry still looks like it will cross the $20 billion mark for the year, analysts said, but that will be dependent upon strong sales in December, surpassing the same month last year, by double digits.

Sales have now declined during eighht of the last nine months.

For the month, publishers sold $1.4 billion worth of games, wiith 25% of that take coming from Activision’s “Modern Warfare 2,” alone.

The game sold 6 million copies, with over 4 million copies picked up for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console.

Other titles like Nintendo’s “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” also sold extremely well, with 1.4 million copies, while “Assassin’s Creed II” moved more than 1.2 million copies. EA’s “Left 4 Dead 2” also scared up 744,000 units.

Nintendo’s Wii was still the best-selling videogame console during the month, moving 1.3 million units, more than twice as many than what it sold last month, signaling strong interest from holiday shoppers. Rivals Microsoft tripled the number of Xbox 360s it sold (820,000), while Sony more than doubled its PlayStation 3 sales, with 710,000.

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