With the movie business seeing record box office in the form of James Cameron’s Avatar, another business that used to also be thought of as pretty successful seems to have stalled a bit last year. According to Variety, the video game business saw an overall fall in sales of 8% with revenues of $19.7 Billion last year.
That’s down from $21.4 billion in 2008, according to the NPD Group, a company that keeps track of this sort of thing. The industry was expected to take a hit after only four months last year saw an increase in sales over 2008. One of those months, however, was December.
The videogame industry’s $5.5 Billion take in December was the biggest sales month ever, beating the previous year by 4%. Nintendo’s “New Super Mario Bros. Wii” was the winner of the month, selling over 2.8 Million units. Nintendo also sold 3.8 Million Wii consoles during December thanks largely to a price cut on the popular device.
Cost reductions also helped Sony sell 1.4 million PlayStation 3’s and Microsoft to move 1.3 million Xbox 360s. For the year every videogame category experienced a decline aside from sales of portable hardware, up 6%. Console sales were off 13%, and software sales for PC games took an even bigger hit, with earnings down 23% to $538 Million in 2009.
Even with the drop in sales last year, let’s try not to feel too bad for the video game industry. Even though the made 8% less money in 2009, they still managed to rack up $19.7 Billion dollars. That’s a lot of Mountain Dew and salty snack foods.