Pachter: Video games are not recession proof

Michael Pachter has conceded that a number of industry analysts were mistakenly “lulled” into believing the video game software market was recession-proof.

“Compounding our error was the belief that Wii sales would never slow and that the music genre could continue to grow. We now see just how wrong we were. Wii hardware unit sales are down a staggering 28 percent through November,” the Wedbush Morgan analyst wrote in a note obtained by Industry Gamers.

“Even though combined PS3 and Xbox 360 sales are actually UP 5 percent
this year, in absolute terms, the three consoles have sold almost 14
percent fewer units than in the prior year. At the same time, a lackluster lineup of games for the Wii (compared to a very robust lineup last year), software bundles with the PS3 and Xbox 360, and the effects of the recession clearly contributed to lower overall software attach rates this year.”

According to Pachter, sales of music genre games “suffered mightily” in 2009, with sales through November totaling $620 million – compared to $1.19 billion in the same period a year ago.

“The $570 million decline in year-over-year music sales is responsible for two-thirds of the overall decline in software sales thus far in 2009,” added Pachter.

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