How Did The North American Games Industry Do In April?



Here’s a quick glance at what the games industry in North America looked like in April 2010, in terms of revenue and overall growth, and it isn’t a pretty picture. Videogame software sales dropped by 22% — from $512 million to $398.5 million — compared to April 2009. Meanwhile, hardware sales dropped 37% from $392.3 million to $249.3 million.


Dollar sales Apr-09 Apr-10 CHG YTD Apr-09 YTD Apr-10 CHG
Videogames $1.03B $766.2M -26%


$4.73B -11%

Hardware $392.3M $249.3M -37%


$1.47B -20%

Software $512.0M $398.5M -22%


$2.52B -8%

Accessories* $129.6M $118.4M -9%


$748.0M 2%


* With regard to accessories, NPD point out that this is the second consecutive month that the Xbox Live 1600 point game card was the best-selling “accessory” for the month.


NPD analyst Anita Frazier points out that one of the primary reasons behind the across-the-board declines could be the timing of Easter purchases taking place in March this year, as opposed to April. This would help explain the drop-offs in April software sales.


In April 2009, consumers spent approximately $55 million in videogame purchases. The loss of these sales in April 2010 accounts for about 21% of the overall decline compared to last year. Another reason cited was a significant drop in portable games revenue. It’s also worth noting that the NPD group do not release data for the iPhone, iPad and digitally-purchased content, all of which contribute significantly to revenue.


Many thanks to the NPD group for providing Siliconera with a copy of their report.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.