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article imageVideo game industry sees U.S. sales rise 4% in December

By Owen Weldon     Jan 15, 2010 in Business
Sale are up in the video game industry thanks to releases like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the new Super Mario Bros. Wii.
Last month the video game industry increased sales by 4 percent in the U.S., thanks to shoppers who grabbed hot titles such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and new Super Mario Bros. Wii.
Even though sales were up this month the increase in sales could not counter a slow 2009, which saw sales down by 8 percent from 2008, according to the market research firm NPD.
The year of 2009 was a bad time for the video game industry as sales fell in 8 of the 12 months which forced major publishers to cut costs and get rid of workers. Two major companies, Electronic Arts Inc. and Ubisoft Entertainment, announced that this week they were lowering their guidance because holiday sales were not as good as they'd hope.
Dancing and music video games were the hardest hit. Those games tanked to 46 percent as players turned away from titles that cost more than $200. The video game industry has never took a hit like that on any video game genre, making it a first.
The economic wave was so bad that not even the video game The Beatles: Rock Band could even turn things around. According to NPD the game only sold a little more than 1.7 million copies.
In it's first four months released in the U.S. alone the video game rock band released in 2008 sold 1.7 million units.
Executive vice president of MTV games, Scott Guthrie, said that he was pleased with sales during the holiday shopping season. Guthrie said that over a million video game players who bought the Beatles video game bought Beatles song downloads, more than one million players at that. He does admit that sales in some European markets did not meet the company's expectations.
Revenue was also down because players bought the game but did not purchase additional pricey instrument controllers.
Guitar hero which was released by Activision blizzard Inc. performed horribly, selling under 1 million copies from September to December, according to NPD. A year earlier Guitar hero: world tour sold over 3 million copies.
Michael Pachter is an analyst with Morgan securities and he said that it is a very good thing that last year’s music sales are behind them.
Leading sales in the video industry in December was the Nintendo Wii, which cost less than $170, which helped boost sales by 16 percent to $2.2 billion.
Consumers only bought 1.36 million Playstation 3 from Sony and 1.31 million Xbox 360s from Microsoft and the Nintendo Will sold over 3.7 million units, beating out the competitors.
December was still the biggest month ever for PS3 because of a new exclusive video game Uncharted 2. The new title sold over 950,000 copies and even won a few awards. The game helped them compete against their competitors.
Activision had a bit of more good news thanks to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 because worldwide, it grossed in $1 billion in retail sales and last year in the U.S. alone it was the top-selling game. On the domestic market it became the fourth-most popular game, according to NPD.
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