“The NPD Group will release its December sales report this Thursday, and according to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, the results will be quite disappointing yet again, rounding out a tough year for retail in 2012. Pachter’s NPD preview note forecasts a decline of 11 percent in console software sales ‘due to continuing gamer fatigue and sustained Nintendo weakness.'”
-Game Industry News
The report notes a 20% decline in Call of Duty sales from last year. It also states that Halo 4 failed to meet expectations.
Pachter also blames Nintendo for an “underwhelming launch” for the Wii U. He also mentions a “continued weakness” for the company. Pachter predicts that 675,000 Wii U units were sold at US retail in its second month (up 59% since last month) with a “very low software attach rate” (close to one title per hardware unit).
Pachter believes 2013 should bring better results, as top titles like Dead Space 3, BioShock Infinite and GTA V will increase sales.
A huge rebound, however, is expected in 2014, because of the launches of next-gen consoles “Xbox 720” and “PS4,” since as Pachter mentions “publishers will likely plan an unprecedented number of new IP launches in the first two years of the cycle, providing relief from gamer fatigue.”
Oddly enough, despite the expansion of the mobile and (now declining) social market, Pachter predicts that the traditional gaming sector with strong core properties will be more resistant to heavy declines. “It is clear to us that those companies who primarily focused on traditional gamers were largely unscathed by the declines over the last few years, and those same companies will disproportionately benefit once traditional gamers drive industry sales into positive territory in 2014 and beyond,” Pachter said said.
Merry Christmas indeed.