- December saw total industry sales at retail drop by 22 percent
- all of 2012 was also down 22 percent
- Industry sales in December came to $3.21 billion
- that brings 2012's haul to $13.26 billion (compared to 2011's almost $17 billion)
- video game hardware was down 20 percent in December, totaling $1.07 billion
- video game hardware was down 27 percent for the year, totaling $4.04 billion
- Software in December (including PC) fell 27 percent to $1.58 billion
- software for the year dipped 22 percent to $7.09 billion
- accessories 8 percent for the year, totaling $2.51 billion
"2012 was also the best year for point card and subscription card sales as gamers sought digital content on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Nintendo's eShop. Games like Journey and Minecraft broke records for number of games downloaded.
An apt historical comparison for this this month is December 2005, which was the first December of the previous console generation. As a testament to how much the retail market has grown, overall physical dollar sales in December 2012 are up 10% when compared to December 2005
In December 2012, positive trending for many annualized franchises like Call of Duty, Skylanders, Assassin's Creed, and FIFA, points to consumers' increased spending on hits, but that middle-tier games as well as catalog titles are suffering. This is evident in examining the share of December dollar sales that the top ten titles generated, which was 46 percent in December 2012, up 12 percentage points from last December.
A major culprit in the decline in retail sales in 2012 was the lack of new releases with 29 percent less SKUs across consoles, portables, and PCs. However, the SKUs that were released generated 8% more units per SKU and 11% more dollars per SKU.” - NPD industry analyst Liam Callahan