U.S. Retailers Saw a Decline in Games Sales During the Holidays

on January 10, 2012 5:00 PM

Toys ‘R Us said its lackluster holiday sales came courtesy of “overall softness across the video game industry.” Best Buy didn’t do better sales-wise than last year (it didn’t do worse, either) because of low double-digit losses in “gaming and digital imaging.” And GameStop blames low Wii sales for the low gains it saw in sales in the weeks leading up to the new year.

Of the three retailers, only Toys ‘R Us saw any actual decline in business; GameStop’s and Best Buy’s flatlined over the previous year. GameStop says the release of Triple-A titles like Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim¬†helped bolster sales during the holiday season, with new Xbox 360 and PS3 releases making up 9.9 percent of its sales for that period.

But the video game retailer also saw used games sales increase by 3.5 percent over the same time last year, 7 percent for the year overall. Best Buy also says that its television sales also saw single-digit declines while tablet sales increased. Most telling might be the fact that the Call of Duty¬†Elite service helped GameStop’s online sales increase 60 percent and Best Buy’s online sales increased 26 percent while foot traffic in its stores open at least two years dropped 1.2 percent.

So where do you fit into this equation? I know I certainly didn’t go on a game-buying spree this holiday, although I did pick up a couple of titles on sale during the Black Friday weekend. Is this an indication of an overall lack of interest in games by the public or a side effect of the economic climate?

 /  Staff Writer
Eder is a journalism major at the University of Oregon and copy chief of Flux, the School of Journalism and Communication's flagship magazine. When he's not playing video games or writing about them, Eder enjoys going to concerts, walking the UO campus with his trusty iPod, James McCloud, and climbing steep hills in running shoes. His favorite games include Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong Country 2, Bioshock and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.