Videogame Companies Using Beatles, Guitar Hero, Madden, Grand Theft For Q3, Holiday 2009 For Sales Comeback
July 31, 2009: People looking for ways to ease their budgets during the current challenged economy have not forsaken toys. Worldwide toy market sales topped $78 billion in 2008, which is a .8% decrease in current exchange rates over 2007 but at constant exchange rates is a $2.4 billion rise (2.3%), according to Global Toy Trends and Forecasts 2009, a new report from The NPD Group, Port Washington, NY. At the current pace, NPD expects worldwide toy sales to top $80.3 billion in 2012.
In an earlier report, NPD Group said that the number of U.S. households purchasing toys increased from 92% in 2007 to 92.4% last year.
However, NDP Group this month also reported U.S. sales of game equipment and software are down 12% year-to-date, due to both a slowing economy as well as tough comparisons to the previous year when several strong products were released. However, "full-year sales could still match or slightly exceed those of 2008, as long as the releases of some high-profile games are not delayed."
Sony on July 30 said PlayStation 3 unit sales fell by more than 31% in its fiscal first quarter, specifically citing "the lack of a hot, new game to drive sales." Nintendo also said on July 30 that Wii sales for the quarter fell by more than half, from 5.17 million units to 2.23 million units in the same period a year ago.
For the fiscal first quarter, which ended June 31, THQ reported a net income of $6.4 million vs. a loss of $27.2 million for the comparable period a year ago, driven by sales of UFC 2009 Undisputed, and also Red Faction: Guerrilla. But the growth may be short-lived: THQ said it has no major releases scheduled for the current period.
Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard are scheduled to report results for the June quarter during the first week of August.
Gamers and analysts are looking to a strong Q3 and Holiday 2009 line-up to boost sales across the board. Activision is releasing Guitar Hero 5 on Sept. 1, which will resonate with 85 songs from such singers and bands as Beastie Boys, Bob Dylan, Bush, Johnny Cash, Nirvana, Queen with David Bowie, The Killers and The Raconteurs. Harmonix/MTV Games' The Beatles: Rock Band also comes Sept. 9 which will get marketing support including a TV spot, print and online. Haromonix follows that with Lego Rock Band (pictured above) in December,. The latter not only allows players to become pirates, firemen, cowboys, Star Wars and other characters from the Lego line-up, but will contain an all-star playlist that includes Blur, Good Charlotte, Pink, Bon Jovi, Sum 41, The Counting Crows, Blink 182 and The Hives.
EA Sports' category armageddon Madden NFL 10 drops Aug. 14. EA Sports also has coming NHL 10 (Sept. 15), NBA Live 10 (Oct. 16) with Dwight Howard on the cover, FIFA 10 (Oct. 20) and NCAA Basketball 10 (Holiday 2009). 2K Games counters with NHL 2K10 (Sept. 15), NBA 2K10 and a limited-edition NBA 2K10 10th anniversary edition (October) both with Kobe Bryant on the cover. 2K Games action titles include Borderlands (Oct. 20) and BioShock 2 (Holiday 2009).
Among the most anticipated titles scheduled for release in between Q3 2009 and Q1 2010 are: Gran Turismo 5 (for PSP), Tony Hawk Ride, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction, Grand Theft Auto 4: The Ballad of Gay Tony, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Left 4 Dead 2, Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Aliens vs. Predator, Final Fantasy XIII and Max Payne 3. Back to Home Page