February 17, 2020
A lack of new-generation video game platforms again undermines software sales with January totals (from Jan. 5 to Feb. 1) down for the sixth straight month, according to The NPD Group.
With both Microsoft and Sony promising new consoles by the winter holidays, consumers have held off acquiring titles and hardware. In addition, increasing numbers of gamers are playing online further impacting the transactional side of the business.
Total revenue in January fell 26% to $678 million, from $918 million in the previous-year period. Accessories and game cards revenue declined almost 12% to $238 million, from $268 million in the previous-year period.
Hardware revenue fell 35% to $129 million from $199 million with sales again driven largely by Nintendo Switch — as was the situation in 2019.
Software revenue plummeted 31% to $311 million, from $451 million last year.
“Generally, we are very late into the cycle for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles … although we are in line with January 2016 and January 2017 comps,” analyst Mat Piscatella said on a video blog post.
Piscatella said the software decline was expected in part due to the strong year-ago new releases of Kingdom Hearts 3 and Resident Evil 2, among other high-profile titles.
“So, it was a pretty jam-packed January  slate,” he said.
Notable software seller: Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot, which was the third-highest launch sales in franchise history. Other top sellers included Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Grand Theft Auto V.