Retail Game Software Sales Drop 44% In May In U.S.

By Ishaan . June 17, 2013 . 3:50pm

U.S. Software sales during the month of May dropped 44% compared to May 2012, the NPG Group reported today. Meanwhile, hardware sales dropped 31%, while total industry sales at retail dropped 25%.


“Overall entertainment software declines, down forty-four percent, were driven partly by sharp year-over-year declines within PC games due to poor comparisons to last year’s Diablo 3 release,” said NPD analyst Liam Callahan.


“Softness in new physical entertainment software sales stemmed from a decline in the number of new launches, with over 30% fewer new SKUs, as well as poor performance of the new SKUs that were released. New SKUs generated over seventy percent less units on a per-SKU basis, and a decrease of over eighty percent revenue per SKU.”


“Overall new launch performance in May’13 was poor, down 84% in units, decreasing 88% in dollars, which was driven by PCs and Consoles as new launches for portables were up 5% in units, and down only 7% in dollars.”


The top-10 best-selling games for the month of April (at retail) were as follows:


Rank Title System Publisher
01. Injustice: Gods Among Us 360, PS3, Wii U Warner Bros.
02. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 360, PS3, PC, Wii U Activision Blizzard
03. Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D 3DS Nintendo
04. Dead Island: Riptide
360, PS3, PC Deep Silver
05. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon 3DS Nintendo
06. Metro: Last Light 360, PS3, PC Deep Silver
07. NBA 2K13 360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC Take 2
08. Bioshock Infinite 360, PS3, PC Take 2
09. Battlefield 3 360, PS3, PC Electronic Arts
10. LEGO Batman 2 360, Wii, DS, PS3, 3DS, Wii U, PSV, PC Warner Bros.

Reporting period: May 5th – June 1st, 2013.


  • I get annoyed with these “compared to last year” figures when I feel it’s kind of bad to reflect a month where there aren’t many anticipated releases. But, iirc, the numbers have been dipping even at holidays where most “big releases” are bunched together.

    • 60hz

      … gotta keep the stock traders happy brah.

      • Most definitely, therein is another problem: People only have so much money for ever-increasing expectations.

        • It’s unsustainable. Game prices are lower than ever relative to development cost, and trying Neo Geo grade prices won’t sell enough to work.

          • 60hz

            ah not necessarily true, it’s possible that by dropping prices you can increase revenue… for example espn nba (back in 2005?) came out at half it’s price and yet made 300% more sales than the previous one… it also made EA buy up the nfl license but that’s another story lol…

      • This time of year has always been slow for gaming, Last of Us is an exception though

    • Geoff Kelly

      Software down: uh well didn’t we have that huge seller D3 last year.
      Hardware down: uh well didn’t they just announce a great next gen lineup to release later this year.

      So yeah “compared to last year” the numbers are obviously gunna stink.

  • leeorv

    I believe these sorts of stories are becoming less and less relevant, especially now that all 5 current platforms offer digital download versions of most or all of their retail releases.

    if Uncharted 3, which had no digital release for about a year and a half, sold 1M during it’s first month, and The Last of Us, which had a day 1 digital release with a free soundtrack, theme and avatars, sold 500K on Retail and 500K on Digital, wouldn’t that be viewed as a “50% drop in sales of naughty dog titles year over year!” ?

    • XYZ_JolteonZ980

      I think its highly doubtful that digital download sales of console games are accounting for 50% of titles opening month performances.

      I think the story here shows that the reason for the decline is just theres less new games launching this month and the games that launch are underperforming at retail. If their not doing good in a store…are they really going to somehow do good digitally too?

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    There just havent been that many new and exciting games offered this year on consoles. Looking back Ive only bought like Ni no Kuni, Naruto Shippuden Ultimate NInja Storm 3, The Last of Us, and Generation of Chaos: Pandora’s Reflection, on this year, pretty lower compared to the stuff that is typically offered in the first half of the year and even May. Maybe The Last of US will have done phenomenally well in june, but I think the industry will just be pretty much down until Fall starts up with being ushered in by Tales of Xillia, Kingdom Hearts, Disgaea D2 Dimensions. Guided Fate Paradox, Beyond Two Souls, and of course the new hardwares.

  • Göran Isacson

    Man, Injustice is still selling high? Can’t say I expected it to be that succesful- the game must’ve really hit a sweetspot with a lot of folks out there.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos