Recession Hits Video Games

BY Andrew Miesner / May 27, 2009

Gaming that was once labelled “recession proof” seems to be losing that title with the economy still in an epic downturn. Game prices are coming down, and so are sales. Titles like Guitar Hero are now feeling the pressure from the dwindling economy. Even Nintendo’s Wii Console sales have been taking a turn for the worse.

Industry sales in the U.S. stumbled 17% in April over the previous year, with console sales dropping 8% and games sliding 23%, according to a report released Thursday from the tracking firm NPD Group Inc. Console sales fell to $392 million in April from $427 million a year ago. Game sales slipped to $511 million last month, down from $660 million in April 2008. Nintendo’s Wii console sales tumbled 50% from a year earlier.

Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities:

Part of the decline in industry revenue can be attributed to widespread discounting of games by stores such as Best Buy and Wal-Mart to lure reluctant shoppers, leading to a 19% drop in the average price of games.

Source: LATimes