May 2012 Games Market Sees Further Contraction of New Releases: NPD
The video games market in May saw continuation of several trends, including a consolidation of software sales around fewer new releases, according to the NPD Group.
Although publishers launched 27 percent fewer new PC, console, and portable system titles last month than they did in May 2011, new-release video games garnered 188 percent more unit sales and were worth 31 percent more in value from the year ago period, NPD estimates (via All Things Digital). Activision Blizzard PC title Diablo III â€” which sold some 3.5 million copies within its first 24 hours of release, according to the publisher (via The Wall Street Journal) â€” topped May 2012â€™s new release sales.
The smaller-yet-stronger new release slate could not offset a decline in total game sales during the month. Total packaged game software Â sales were worth $335 million in May 2012, a 16 percent drop from May 2011, NPD reportsÂ (via theÂ Los Angeles Times).
More than one third of video games sold during May â€” 36 percent â€” were digital (via Bloomberg Businessweek), with sales of digitally distributed games, downloadable content, online subscriptions, mobile games, and social network games totaling $420 million (via the Los Angeles Times). Meanwhile, the video game rental market in May topped $155 million in value, NPD estimates.