As reported by the NPD group, video game sales over July dropped over 25 percent year over year and have fallen to the lowest levels since 2006. Total sales in July 2011 amounted to $707 million while sales just a year ago in July 2010 topped $960 million. The number of game systems sold was the source of the steepest decline at 29 percent, but last year’s bump in sales is attributed to the release of a new Xbox 360 model. Software sales dropped from about $400 million to a bit over $336 million and accessory sales dipped just over $10 million year over year.
Electronic Arts NCAA Football 12 was the top seller of the month, likely satisfying football fans until the release of Madden NFL 12 on August 30. Disney’s Cars 2, Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty Black Ops, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game and Ubisoft’s Just Dance 2 rounded out the top five. Other games that sold well in July included Take-Two’s Major League Baseball 2K11, Zumba Fitness: Join the Party, Bethesda’s Fallout: New Vegas, Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros DS and Warner Brothers Mortal Kombat.
Interestingly, the major releases in June like inFAMOUS 2 and Duke Nukem Forever didn’t make the top 10 list in July. In addition, Rockstar’s L.A. Noire fell out of the top rankings, unlike Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption in 2010. This report from NPD does not include sales of digital games on services like Xbox Live or PlayStation Network. DLC add-on content also isn’t included in the totals. In a recent first quarter report from Electronic Arts, the company attributed more than a fifth of sales to digital downloads. The company expects to see that number rise to over 50 percent within the next five years.
Industry experts are predicting that August will also continue the downward trend in video game sales, mostly due to major titles like Square Enix’s Deus Ex Human Revolution and EA Sports Madden NFL 12 launching at the end of the month.