Video game sales decline again

It was yet another bad month for video game sales – even worse than expected – as 2010 has become one of the worst years in recent industry history.

September saw the launch of Halo: Reach on the Xbox 360 along with other heavy hitters like Dead Rising 2 and Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. As such, it was expected that the downward trend of video game sales would finally be turned around.

Instead, it still wasn’t enough to combat the fact that video game sales were at record levels in 2009, and everything is starting to taper off this year.

In addition to a sluggish economy, this could be because the current console cycle is reaching a point of saturation. Usually, when a console has been around for four or five years it’s time for the company to introduce a new console.

For the first time, that’s changing in this cycle because the Xbox 360 and PS3 offer system updates that can keep them relevant for a longer amount of time. Still, it seems to  be having an effect on sales.

This is all leading up to the holiday shopping season, which is seen as a make or break period for the entire industry. Unfortunately, some of the hottest titles originally planned for a holiday release have been delayed to 2011. So it’s unlikely we’ll even see a big boost over the next couple months. Game companies are already looking ahead to next year as the time to make up for this year’s declining sales.

The top 10 games for September were as follows:

1. Halo: Reach (360) – Microsoft

2. Madden NFL 11 (360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP) – Electronic Arts

3. Dead Rising 2 (360, PS3, PC) – Capcom

4. NHL 11 (360, PS3) – Electronic Arts

5. FIFA SOCCER 11 (360, PS3, PS2, PSP, NDS) – Electronic Arts

6. Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (PSP) – Square Enix Inc

7. Mafia II (360, PS3, PC) – Take 2 Interactive

8. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions (PS3, 360, NDS, Wii) – Activision

9. Metroid: Other M (Wii) – Nintendo

10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360, PS3, PC) – Activision Blizzard