The best days of videogame retail could very well be behind us. Find out why...
2012 was a rough year financially for videogames in the retail sector in North America. Total revenue was 22% down from 2011; 13.26 billion compared to 17 billion dollars. Every single month of 2012 had a double digit loss. Except November, which was only down 11%, every single month for revenue was down year on year by at least 20% or more.
Hardware sales were down by 27% year-on-year despite the release of the PS Vita and the Wii U. Software was down by 21%. However, there was 29% less videogames released in retail 2012 compared to 2011. NPD tried to spin it by saying per SKU sales were better. That's like saying the average number of games sold better when there was only 1 Cabela's game released compared to 3 last year.
While there was a surge for Holiday 2012, with the addition of the new Vita and WiiU consoles, they tapered off significantly after launch. It took the Vita 9 months to sell 1 million units. The original Wii sold more than the WiiU, despite being a 6 year old console, by 50,000 units.
The PS3, at the tyrannical $499 and $599 price points, sold more in December 2006 than the WiiU sold in December 2012.
In November, while the Top 5 selling games did sell 5% higher than the previous year, as a whole 2011 sold 20% more games that month. With fewer and fewer releases, the highest selling games are making up a larger share.
In December 2011 the top 10 games made up 32% of total software revenue, compared to 42% for 2012.
One odd note, FIFA Soccer 13 is the first time a soccer game cracked the Top 10 most sold software of the year in North America, coming in at tenth place. Since release in September, it has managed to chart the remaining months of the year.
In the month of December the Top 10 selling games made up 46% of total sales compared to last year 36%.
The trend of big selling blockbusters making the big bucks, while all the other games are scrounging for leftovers and waiting for discounts, continues.
AGTurbo is the man in the mirror. Follow him on Twitter.