Advanced Television

Report: Video games sales tumble

March 15, 2022

By Chris Forrester

A report from Seeking Alpha’s Jason Aycock, based on an examination of major interested parties by market research company NPD Group including Microsoft, Sony, Activision and others, suggests that as the Covid lockdown periods ended – or softened – then sales of video games also suffered.

February 2022’s sales numbers fell again, for the fourth month in a row. More worrying, perhaps, is the rate of collapse. For example, last December’s sales were down just 1 per cent (y-o-y). Then January’s fell by 2 per cent. A worry, but not catastrophic. But then February’s decline hit 6 per cent (to $4.38 billion) says NPD.

Also of significant concern was the fall in hardware sales, which fell 27 per cent (y-o-y) in February to $295 million.

NPD says the best-selling platform for February was Nintendo’s Switch followed by the Xbox Series S/X. However, the cumulative sales performance of Sony’s PlayStation 5 meant that the console stayed at the top of the 2022 top-dollar sales platform to date.

A report from equity analysts at investment bank Berenberg, and which looked at games developer and supplier Activision Blizzard (AB) also confirmed the trend. The bank’s report says that AB’s Q4 2021 results were particularly disappointing, with net bookings of $2.84 billion falling 12 per cent short of consensus estimates.

“Given the acquisition process that is underway with Microsoft, no guidance was given for FY 2022. The weak results were a consequence of weaker-than-expected sales following the release of Call of Duty: Vanguard,” said the bank.

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