Economy catches up to gaming

With 2008 being one of gaming’s best sales years many thought that maybe, just maybe, the industry can get through the world’s economic woes relatively unscathed. June’s NPD numbers came as a rude awakening to such hopes. 1up reports that year-over-year, June’s sales drop was the largest the industry had seen in nearly a decade. With hardware sales diving 38% and games 31%, a drop like this hadn’t been seen since September 2000’s 41% drop year-over-year. NPD analyst Anita Frazier speculates that 2008’s unexpected triumph is leaving 2009’s expected outlook to be a bit stale.

“The decline could also point to consumers deferring limited discretionary spending until a big event (must-have new title, hardware price cut) compels them to spend,” says Frazier. What also isn’t helping 2009 is how many games are being pushed back to 2010 (like Bayonetta and BioShock 2). This could all very well be premature, seeing that this is just a comparison of 2009 to 2008, but it’s a rather drastic drop by anyone’s standards. Not gaming apocalypse, mind you, but worrisome.

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