Last month we reported on the rather bleak fortunes of the gaming industry, and it appears as though the trend that was identified in June has carried over to July. According to the NPD Group, July marks the fifth consecutive month of year-over-year video-game sales declines. Not only is the gaming industry no longer considered recession proof, but it managed to shed a staggering 29 percent compared to the same period last year. Sales of software and hardware for July 2009 were approximately $848.9 million, down from $1.1 billion in 2008.
NPD blames the summer tailspin on lackluster new game releases, and fewer hardware purchases. The industry on a whole is expected to pick up some steam in the traditionally strong Q4 period with several high profile launches expected. "This isn't the best time of year for video-game sales. In a down economy it makes it all that tougher said Michael Gartenberg, a vice president at Interpret. "Of course, there's nothing that's ultimately going to be recession-proof if the recession goes on long enough."
“Video games have large amounts of entertainment value beyond short-term enjoyment," Gartenberg said. "That's typically one of the reasons video games have done well." Would you agree?