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Video game sales drop 19% in July

Video game sales fell to $443 milllion in July, representing a drop of 19% from the same time a year earlier, according to a newly released report from researcher the NPD Group.

Hardware sales declined a more precipitous 34% to $99 million in July, from $150.9 million in the prior year, as the consumers wait for the introduction this year of Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 game consoles.

The sales of physical goods — hardware, software and accessories — now account for roughly half what consumers spend on games, according to NPD analyst Liam Callahan. Total spending rises to an estimated $1.2 billion when considering projections of how much consumers spent to rent games, buy used titles, download apps for mobile devices or on micro-transactions, he said.

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Among software titles, Electronic Arts' "NCAA Football 14," was the top-selling game of the month — though sales were off from the prior year's introduction because of the impending console transition.

Nintendo's dual screen hand-held game, the Nintendo 3DS, led hardware sales for the month, NPD said. Microsoft's Xbox 360 remains the bestselling game console.

In terms of spending on game accessories, the industry is seeing growth in spending on subsciption cards, compared with a year ago.

"This is partly driven by fewer games at retail throughout 2013," said Callahan. "This becomes especially true during the summer where launch slates are lighter.”

Top-selling game titles for July 2013 are as follows:

1. "NCAA Football 14" from Electronic Arts

2. "Minecraft" from Microsoft Corp.

3. "The Last of Us" from Sony Corp.

4. "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" from Activision Blizzard Corp.

5. "Animal Crossing: New Leaf" from Nintendo

6. "Far Cry 3" from Ubisoft

7. "Battlefield 3" from Electronic Arts

8. "Injustice: Gods Among Us" from Warner Bros. Interactive

9. "NBA 2K13" from Take 2 Interactive

10. "Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes" from Warner Bros. Interactive

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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