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Even a new console launch couldn't stop November's steep decline
Even a new console launch couldn't stop November's steep decline
December 6, 2012 | By Frank Cifaldi

There may have been a brand new home console on American store shelves, but that wasn't enough to stop yet another month of decline for the retail video game industry in the ever-important November shopping month.

Tracking firm The NPD Group says that revenue generated from the entire video game retail industry -- including sales of new hardware, software and accessories -- was down 11 percent, from $2.87 billion in 2011 to $2.55 billion last month.

That's well in line with where the industry has been for quite a while -- this is, after all, the twelfth straight month of decline. Some analysts were expecting the launch of Nintendo's Wii U to stem the decline, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter was expecting console and handheld sales of $1.57 billion, down just two percent from last year. Instead, sales were merely $1.43 billion, an 11 percent decline.

The explanation, he tells us, is that Wii U software sales were "a disaster," selling only around one-third of what the analyst was expecting.

"Only Super Mario sold any meaningful units," he told USA Today.

The NPD cheerfully points out that the overall 11 percent decline is the smallest we've seen so far this year, though for many it's still a disappointment in a month that saw a new Halo, a new Call of Duty, and a brand new home console make their debuts.

Top ten software sales for November 2012

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Activision)
2. Halo 4 (Microsoft/343 Industries)
3. Assassin's Creed III (Ubisoft)
4. Just Dance 4 (Ubisoft)
5. Madden NFL 13 (Electronic Arts)
6. Skylanders Giants (Activision)
7. Need For Speed: Most Wanted (EA)
8. NBA 2K13 (2K Sports)
9. WWE 13 (THQ)
10. FIFA Soccer 13 (EA)

Dollar sales

Total video game sales: $2.55B (from $2.87B, -11%)
Video game hardware: $838.9M (from $962.2M, -13%)
Video game software (console and portable): $1.43B (from $1.60B, -11%)
Video game software (console, portable and PC): $1.46B (from $1.65B, -11%)
Video game accessories: $280.9M (from $305.3M, -8%)

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