Take Two (NASDAQ:TTWO)
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U.S. video game industry sales fell in October despite the release of new motion-based game technologies, painting a potentially grim picture for the holiday shopping season.
U.S. sales of video game hardware, software and accessories fell about 4% to $1.07 billion from roughly $1.11 billion in the same month a year earlier, according to market research firm NPD Group.
The video game industry is suffering as recession-weary customers pinch pennies, in part by buying used games rather than new ones. Some people are switching to cheaper mobile and Internet-based games.
Anita Frazier, an NPD analyst, said the slowdown particularly hit video game hardware makers, whose sales fell 26% from the previous year. Frazier added that sales figures would have been worse if not for higher unit prices this year.
NPD results are possibly overly dramatic because the research firm's reporting method includes only new retail sales. Electronic, used game and mobile app sales, for example, are not included.
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.'s (TTWO) "NBA 2K11" was the best-selling game of the month, followed by privately-held Bethesda Softworks LLC's "Fallout: New Vegas" and Electronic Arts Inc.'s (ERTS) "Medal of Honor."
Frazier said that encouraging sales figures for new motion-based controllers designed for Sony Corp.'s (SNE, 6758.TO) PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Xbox 360 could help offset softening sales throughout the rest of the industry.
-By Ian Sherr, Dow Jones Newswires; 415-439-6455; firstname.lastname@example.org