The NPD Group, the tracking firm which publishes monthly updates for the video game market in the United States, has announced that 2011 has been a worse year for the industry than 2010, with the overall value of sales going down by about 8 percent.
Total video game sales revenue are estimated to have been around 17.02 billion dollars (13.23 billion Euro) when compared to 18.59 billion dollars (14.22 billion Euro) during the previous year.
The picture for 2011 was clouded by the figures for December of the year, which has seen a bigger than expected decline and has posted some pretty bad numbers when it comes to both hardware sales and the video game chart.
For the entire 2011 the NPD Group
in partnership with EEDAR has estimated that revenue derived just from actual game content has reached between 16.3 and 16.6 billion dollars (12.67 to 12.9 billion Euro) when taking into account retail sales, used game sales, subscriptions, digital downloads, social network games, rentals, DLC and mobile and social titles.
The move towards other alternative business models has not helped the industry overall, with the NPD Group estimating that the decline still exists at about 2 percent.
The best selling physical retail release of 2011 was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
from Activision Blizzard and Infinity Ward, which was followed by Just Dance 3 from Ubisoft and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim from Bethesda.
The rest of the top ten for the year and the United States market is made up of: Battlefield 3, Madden NFL 12, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Batman: Arkham City, Gears of War 3, Just Dance 2 and Assassin's Creed: Revelations.
The NPD Group believes that in order for the industry to see a solid increase in revenue during 2012 the console market needs to be revived by announcements and launched of new hardware from the major industry players, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.