U.S. video game software retail saw another consecutive month of decline last month, according to a new research note from Lazard Capital analyst Colin Sebastian.
Ahead of this week's February NPD Group sales data, Sebastian said Tuesday that U.S. video game software sales were down year-on-year 5-10 percent from $634 million.
The decline comes in part from a difficult comparison to February 2010, which saw strong sales of Take-Two and 2K's BioShock 2
and Activision and Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
For all of 2011, Sebastian said he expects a "mid-single digit decline in packaged goods software sales contrasted by a 25-30 percent increase in online/social/mobile game sales."
Sebastian forecast another down month for March. He added that Lazard is modeling for THQ and Kaos Studios' multiplatform first-person shooter Homefront
to ship 1.5 million units this month. The game launches in the U.S. on March 15.
The analyst also cited "early positive read" on Electronic Arts' and DICE's upcoming military FPS Battlefield 3
, expected to release sometime later this year.
Sebastian isn't the only analyst forecasting for another month of negative growth for U.S. video game software. Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said yesterday
he expects software to be down 6 percent for February, which would mark the third consecutive month of year-on-year decline.