Software Sales Were Lower Than Anticipated For October

Software Sales Were Lower Than Anticipated For October

As far as game releases went, October wasn’t too shabby a month. Forza Motorsport 4 dropped early on. Batman: Arkham Asylum came soon after and Battlefield 3 closed it out. Plenty of quality titles filled the gaps between these three major titles, but software sales only generated a mere $621 million for the month, a 3 percent increase over last year’s numbers.

That may not sound like anything to complain about but most market researchers were predicting gains of anywhere between 10 and 16 percent over last year’s sales numbers. Does this mean the end for our favorite pastime? No, probably not — especially when you take into consideration that all of these sales numbers are for the North American market.

There were some surprise winners among this announcement from NPD, however. Xbox 360 console sales were up 20 percent over last year with 393,000 units, almost as much as Nintendo’s Wii and DS sales combined at 430,000. The winner there is Microsoft, FYI.

PlayStation sales numbers weren’t readily available from Sony, but NPD numbers indicate both the Xbox 360 and Wii consoles sold better in October than they did in September. Sony’s rig didn’t.

Here are the top 10 software releases for last month:
1. Battlefield 3 (360, PS3, PC)
2. Batman: Arkham City (360, PS3)
3. NBA 2K12 (360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PS2, PC)
4. Rage (360, PS3, PC)
5. Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360)
6. Dark Souls (PS3, 360)
7. Madden NFL 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP)
8. Forza Motorsport 4 (360)
9. Gears of War 3 (360)
10. FIFA Soccer 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2, 3DS)

What’s funny is that, although actual software sales didn’t meet expected forecasts, new releases didn’t do too bad. Arkham City sold 1.5 million units during the month and Battlefield 3 did about 10 million worldwide. Maybe folks are just holding off until holiday? I’ve always wondered why so many releases drop around this time of year, anyway. After all, titles like Call of Duty and Gears of War will sell no matter  when they’re released, so why not spread it out a little?