Ahead of the Bell: Video game sales fall

AP News
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Posted: Nov 13, 2009 8:33 AM

The sharp decline in U.S. video game sales the NPD Group reported Thursday were not surprising, and analysts widely expect sales to pick up in November.

Tuesday's launch of Activision's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" and the upcoming "Assassin's Creed 2" from Ubisoft and "New Super Mario Bros." from Nintendo are expected to boost video game software sales this month.

NPD said Thursday total sales of video game hardware, software and accessories fell 19 percent in October from the same month last year, to $1.07 billion. Sales of gaming software declined 18 percent to $572.7 million.

Broadpoint AmTech analyst Benjamin Schachter said while the software "headline number is not good," it is about in line with his expectation of a decline between 15 percent and 20 percent.

"All eyes are now on 'Call of Duty's' post-launch sales, Ubisoft's 'Assassin's Creed 2,' and the potential for the 'New Super Mario Bros.' to improve Wii sell-through," Schachter wrote in a note to investors.

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Deutsche Bank's Jeetil Patel also expects November sales to rebound, driven by "Modern Warfare 2," which raked in $310 million in North America and the U.K. in its first 24 hours on sale.