For the first time since April 2011, gaming sales in the United States rose by a double digit percentage, and set a year-on-year record for the first time in two-and-a-half years. Those numbers are courtesy of the analyst firm Cowen and Company, as reported by GI.biz, and the official confirmation is due on September 12 when the monthly NPD sales figures are released.
Besides just generally being positive news for a gaming industry that has been faced with negative sales figures for years now, the increase in sales combined with the major releases still to come this year now suggest that packaged games will end the year in positive income territory for the first time since 2008.
The growth is courtesy of several major game releases in August that sold well, led by Madden 25‘s more than one million units sold. That’s down from the 1.65 million copies Madden 13 sold, but the numbers were buoyed by several other strong performers in the U.S., including Saints Row IV (522,000), Disney Infinity (225,000), Splinter Cell: Blacklist (209,000), and Pikmin 3 (185,000).
September is also expected to see some big sales figures thanks to the release of Grand Theft Auto V, as well others like FIFA 14 and The Wonderful 101. Following that, October is stacked with several major releases like Battlefield 4, Batman: Arkham Origins, and Assassin’s Creed IV. November will then see the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts, a billion dollar seller in its own right, as well as the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, along with the launch games that go with them.
This is shaping up to be one of the best years for the gaming industry in half a decade, possibly more, thanks to a strong offering of 2013 games, along with the coming consoles and their highly anticipated launch day selections.