Total industry sales are down more than 12% through November, according to NPD, but core game sales are actually way up. Broadpoint AmTech analyst Ben Schachter points out that the decline in the music genre and Nintendo platforms has been dragging the industry down, while sales of core games remained strong and should be a key to growth in 2010.
"We believe that 'core' gamers will drive video game packaged goods growth in 2010 and beyond. 2009 was a horrible year for the video game industry and its investors, but a closer analysis highlights that much of the weakness (since 1Q) was attributable to the Music genre and Nintendo platforms. Core gamer software (which we define as Xbox 360 + PS3, but excluding the Music genre) has actually grown 17% y/y over the past six months in the U.S. according to the NPD Group (while Music was down 52% and Nintendo platforms were down 11%)," Schachter explained.