Game Sales in April Show 'Something is Terribly Wrong,' says Pachter

Following the worse than expected and highly disappointing NPD results for April, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has reacted to the data, and it seems he's stumped.

"The April sales results are baffling to us," he began. "The dollar sales level of $399 million is the lowest since May 2007, when this generation was barely underway, and is the weakest April result since 2005, when console software sales totaled only $6 billion for the full year. The sequential decline of 54% is the greatest in the 11 years that we have been tracking monthly data (except for December-January declines), dwarfing the previous record of 42% set in March-April 2002. For the first 13 weeks of 2010, video game software sales averaged just under $162 million; for the four weeks of April, they averaged just under $100 million."

He continued by noting that many gamers likely played the games they already had and were waiting for the AAA games that are shipping this month.

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Inside_out2904d ago (Edited 2904d ago )

Well, say what you want he's right...Developers as well as publishers will continue there assault on gamers wallets...It has already started...Nintendo wants to charge for on line....Sony is gonna introduce a " Premium " on line deal like the XBL gold member...EA and Ubi-soft have started requiring gamers sign up for the privilege to play there games...They want to charge you to TRY a demo....All the while Games have never been more expensive....

Avatar cost $200-300 million to make...took 10+ years...the highest grossing movie ever...cost under $20 to watch...under $30 dollars to excuse...these guys are as greedy as it gets...The price for games is TOO high as it is...Cost me $80 for a new release where I's gonna get ugly...

lagoonalight2904d ago

DUDE, EXACTLY MY POINT ABOUT FILM AND LITERATURE. GAMES are completely and UTTERLY ridiculously overpriced and EVERYONE KNOWS IT. I have yet to buy a full price game besides U2.

Double Toasted2904d ago

Oh really? No disrespect, but it sucks to be you. Nah, seriously, you only have one game?

Topshelfcheese2904d ago

your comments about movies are off topic...You can't compare the two, as its far easier for a movie to recoup production cost than it is for a game.

If you don't want to pay for a new game than don't, but don't call a business greedy for trying to turn a profit. Its the whole point of running a business, not to cater to your personal financial needs.

catguykyou2904d ago (Edited 2904d ago )

Actually, with the ability to reuse code(event and engine), 3d environment meshes can be reused cross games (omg ITS THE SAME TREE FROM THAT OTHER GAME!!!). Games do have just as much of a chance at recouping loss. Whether or not they take advantage of those chances is a different story. I don't mind paying a company what they deserve for a game if it is good. Game prices are on average 60$ a game. If a company puts out a great game, Im gonna want to pay them what the going rate for a game is. However, that is not an argument stating game prices should be 60$ in the first place.

Developers are already looking at ways of bringing in more money through dlc, fighting piracy, and the used game market (something they dont see a cent from) in order to keep the price of games from going up. Hopefully, like the movie industry, this will continue successfully to the point where they can actually lower prices of games.

El Botto2904d ago (Edited 2904d ago )

If we had unlimited funds, and high quality games come in every month, we be buying EVERY month.

But we do not have unlimited funds. Thats why gamers wont be buying every month. It is as simple as that.

Today, studios make a lot of great games. But soon, the standard will be set EVEN higher because gamers will be even more critical. We will be buying ONLY the Triple A's that we feel has earned our money (because a lot of money has already been drained from the wallets in the previous two years).

Those games that fall below that thresshold (Im talking about the average 8s - by no means are these shitty games but when the alternative is five or eight other games with 9s and 10s all over the board, you know which one you will be picking), will no longer be bought. As simple as that.

We can already see it happening. Conviction: barely 600k sales. Mass effect: 1.6 million sales. No doubt Alan Wake will not break the 800k sales either.

Such is the reality of the wallet.

facelike2904d ago

People do have limited funds, but they will find the money to buy a game if they want it bad enough.

Conviction 600K is more of a reflection of the demand of the game. The hardcore N4G crowd may be all over it, but the general public doesn't care.

As with Mass Effect, its been months and it's at 1.6 mil. Mass Effect has legs, which means long term money for Bioware.

God of War did 1.1 in NPD last month. This month, sales fell quite a bit. What's gonna carry GoW III now is word of mouth. The gamers recommending it to the general public saying buy this game and that give it legs, like what Mass Effect currently has. Like what GT's in the past have had. Like what Halo has.

I always felt steady long term sales are better than blowing your load right at the start. And what gives a game legs, good gameplay, long lasting appeal, and lots of fun.

kneon2904d ago

That's competition at work, only the best will survive.

But the problem with April was that there really wasn't much of anything good to buy. I buy every game that interests me, I've already spent over $400 on games this year with 3 more games on pre-order this month alone. But in April I bought nothing, and it seems a lot of others did the same.

I'm looking forward to the hopefully slower summer release schedule as I just keep falling further behind as the unplayed games keep piling up.

BX812904d ago

Well said. I would also add that the amount that goes into marketing could also be saved. I think a big issue for me is games that are hyped to be the next greatest thing and then they don't deliver. MW2, Gears 2 online are the ones that stick out most for me. This leaves a sour taste in the gamers mouth, so instead of buying day 1 we wait a couple of months to see what the verdict is. As much as I hate to say this they're are too many good quality games being pumped out at once. Lost planet 2, Red dead and Alan wake all release around the same time. Spacing the releases like they used to do in the past seems to be a quick fix...oh yeah and make quality games from the gate that don't require 4 to 5 patches!

secksi-killer2904d ago

you write a decent comment for a change, then show your ultra fanboy nature by just mentioning 360 games.. should we mention some not great sellers on your precious ps3????

i was going to give you a bubble until i got to the bottom of your post. pathetic as usual.

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nycredude2904d ago (Edited 2904d ago )

Since you are comparing a movie to games, why not take into account the actual time of entertainment they provide. Avatar was just over 2 hours, and you pay $15 to watch it ONCE, while most games are anywhere between 8-60, with the worst being 6-8, and you can play it as many times as you want. You do the math. While some games aren't worth it many good ones are. It's also much harder for game developers to make back their money than movies. Much more competition in the games industry.

You take your pick make games cheaper and we have way more mediocre games or charge more for the games and we have much more excellent games. Do you honestly think we would be getting games like ME2, Uncharted 1 and 2, Gears 1 and 2, Killzone 2, MGS4, Alan Wake, Heavy Rain, and so many more if games were $30 to $40?!


Don't forget we just finished one of the best first quarters in recent history. I bought so many games this first quarter and now I am finishing up what I can before RDR and MNR.

ia_studio2904d ago

March was crazy it left me empty of my disposable incomes

fatstarr2903d ago (Edited 2903d ago )

games are over priced so many factors 1 No good games were out in April period except monster hunter 3 and some others. they weren't meant to be instant million sellers (maybe 1-3months in). since when is 399mill a month a low number in anything compared to other years yes. but from my viewpoint just because you don't live up to previous years records doesn't mean jack. So if the game industry generates 1billion in June 2010 alone and then 415mill june2011 something will be wrong?

2- Ipad, droid, new computer parts, new technology.
3- E3 New Pieces of technology.
4- Consumer is cheap and sees nothing is worth their dollar.
5- did i mention no decent games that are day one buys better ones coming out in other months?
6- video games just aren't what they used to be now a days. they seem easier
less features so devs can add dlc for money.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2903d ago
M-Easy2904d ago

Pachter actually said something right. I played my backlogged games last month knowing RDR & Modnation were going to be occupying my time in May.

Christopher2904d ago

Not really unexpected, IMHO. People have been overwhelmed since last October with tons of AAA releases and April just ended up being the low point since then with only Splinter Cell being the real big release. Throw in that it's spring-time, and I think it's easy to say that it isn't a sign of a poor gaming market, just a poor gaming month due to season change and only one major release.

Nineball21122904d ago

I totally agree. I think Spring, the economy, and a bunch of really good games from previous months has a lot to do with it.

Ppl are wanting to get out and enjoy the weather since it's finally turning nicer.

The economy is still very shaky and ppl consider gaming a luxury (to an extent).

And there are lots of games already out that ppl might already have that they want to play first.

I know that I'm using GameFly a lot more and not buying as many games.

Lucreto2904d ago

People would run out of money at some stage as said above there has been major released every month since October. I have bought 6 games which I have yet to play and 2 or those are long RPGs.

Even before E3 I have 5 games on my list this Christmas.

keysy4202904d ago

exclusives on the 360 sell like shit now if it aint one of there flag ships. so you need 360 to be what it is a multiplatform system. games on that system need to be on the ps3 becaus people only buy shooters for the 360. so even though splinter cell is good no one is going to buy itpast 1 million people. then there are bigger games coming this month super street fighter modnation red dead mario 2 3 dot turning out to be big. People jsut dont expect innovation form ms they want the same thing over and over again. The ps3 has taken over this gen and until the 360 hangs it up people who refuse to buy for the ps3 wont until. they have to. people are so dumb and loyal to the 360 that they wont play games on the ps3 even if everyone else is and they have nothing to play

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