Declining game console sales led to another year of shrinking videogame sales.

Analyst NPD Group Inc has crunched the numbers for September’s videogame sales, and the result is a 24% drop when compared to September 2011. Miserable console figures were the kicker this time out; consoles sold 39% less this year as compared to last, while software sales were a slightly more modest 18% decline on last year’s figures.

Madden NFL 13, perhaps predictably, was the top selling game, with Borderlands 2 biting at its heels; meanwhile Guild Wars 2 outsold World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. Of the top selling titles, four were sports games. A full listing of the top ten sellers can be found here.

A critical fact to bear in mind is that the software figures don’t include digital sales; they’re strictly new physical retail only, across all platforms, including PC. Taking Pandaria as an example, retail sales were estimated at 600-700,000 units, while Blizzard recently revealed that overall sales were 2,700,000 total including digital. That means digital made up about 74% of total Pandaria sales.

However World of Warcraft: Cataclysm sold 3,300,000 units in the first 24 hours after launch, and 4,700,000 units within its first month; meanwhile World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King sold 2,800,000 units in the first 24 hours after launch. So even taking digital into consideration, Pandaria is a slow burner, failing even to match Lich King‘s initial sales.

Christmas is coming, and the game makers are gearing up for the seasonal rush; they must be hoping for an improvement on the current trend of falling sales figures.

Source: Bloomberg

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