Monday, October 17, 2005

Ouch. Just Ouch.

From Gamespot
Total US console sales for the month amounted to $347 million, down 24 percent from last year's roughly $458 million in sales.

That's game sales, not hardware sales.

I mentioned this last month, but September's games generally "sucked," to use a highly technical phrase. This also went very much against the historical norm, because the end of fiscal Q3 for most companies (September) is a time to put out some tier one titles. Yes, there's generally a rush in October, but September has always had some excellent releases.

Not this year, really, and what's most surprising is that it wasn't just the PC in the doldrums.

Here's another interesting note:
Looking at the football market to assess the end impact of Electronic Arts' exclusivity deal with the NFL, it has predictably resulted in an increase of sales, but the overall football market appears to be shrinking. EA moved 2.85 million copies of Madden from August through September, a 10 percent increase over last year's 2.59 million copies for the same time period. However, that growth doesn't make up for the 1.09 million copies of 2K Sports' NFL 2K5 sold, and as a result, the overall football market (including college, pro, street, and backyard games) so far has shrunk almost 19 percent in unit sales for August through September.

That's 22 percent shrinkage comparing Madden 2006 versus the combined sales of Madden 2005 and ESPN NFL2K5.

It should give you an idea of just how weak Madden is this year that they could only grow the game's sales ten percent with an exclusive license. In other words, sales would have probably decreased from last year without the license. Madden is old and stale, and man, EA needs to start paying attention to the quality of their sports games instead of just the quality of their licenses and marketing.

Let's see how Blitz: The League sells next week. I think they would have killed at $29.99. At $39.99, it's going to be less of an impulse item. But you know every sale Midway racks up is going to raise EA's blood pressure. Not to mention the NFL's.

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