×

Games Biz Off to Another Slow Year as Sales Slide

EA's 'Dead Space 3' was February's top-selling title; Wii U still underperforming for Nintendo

It was a rough month for the video game industry in February, with the overall biz seeing sales decline 25% to generate $810 million.

New high-profile game launches didn’t help, with software off 27%, although publishers released fewer games during the period, while hardware also took a 36% hit, according to NPD Group.

During the month, Electronic Arts’ “Dead Space 3” was the top selling game, followed by Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” EA’s “Crysis 3,” Take 2’s “NBA 2K13″ and Konami’s “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.” Game sales collected $352 million during the month.

On the hardware front, Sony’s PlayStation Vita enjoyed a 30% uptick in sales as the price of the handheld was reduced.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 topped hardware sales in February for the 19th straight month. All hardware generated $244 million in sales during the period.

Over at Nintendo, the Wii U continues to be a slow seller.

While shipments for the console rose 40% in February, to around 60,000, but it still has a way to go before it can be considered a success. In January, Nintendo is said to have shipped just 57,000 units, according to NPD Group. Compare that to the 302,000 Xbox 360 units that Microsoft shipped in February.

“Skylanders,” however, continues to be a big hit for Activision, getting kids used to a new way to play games as Disney looks to launch a similar offering with “Disney Infinity.” That title was delayed to August, to position it closer to the holiday sales season, rather than deeper into the summer months.

“When combining the dollar value of ‘Skylanders’ software as well as accessories, this property has generated over $600 million in the U.S. since launching in October 2011, and sold $35 million in this month alone,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. “It will be interesting to watch how this dynamic of physical goods delivering digital content evolves with the launch of ‘Disney Infinity’ later this year.”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Gabrielle Carteris

    SAG-AFTRA Urges Gavin Newsom to Sign Law Punishing 'Deep Fake' Videos

    SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White is urging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign legislation that institutes penalties for nonconsensual digital sexually explicit videos, also known as “deep fakes.” The legislation, Assembly Bill 602, targets companies and individuals who create and distribute the videos in California without the consent of the individual being depicted. “We urge Gov. [...]

  • Facebook Portal logo

    Facebook Is Launching a Portal TV Device: Here’s What We Know

    Facebook is getting ready to launch a TV streaming device in time for the holiday season, Variety has been able to confirm with multiple sources familiar with the company’s plans. The new streaming hardware will be part of the company’s Portal family of devices, featuring a camera, and combining video chatting with TV viewing and [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Shuts Down, With Parent Company Citing Failure to Raise Funds

    MoviePass, the long-struggling theater subscription service, finally appears to be down for the count. On Friday, MoviePass notified remaining subscribers that it would be shutting down the service effective Sept. 14, 2019, because “its efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date,” parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics announced. “The company is continuing [...]

  • Disney Plus - Full Lineup

    How to Browse the Disney Plus Catalog the Company Is Testing in the Netherlands

    Disney began testing its Disney Plus streaming service in the Netherlands this week. Consumers in the U.S. will have to wait until November 12 to get access to the service, but European streaming aggregator JustWatch already makes it possible to browse the catalog available during this beta test. JustWatch is one of a number of [...]

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content