Video game sales declined 24 percent in September

An in-action shot of "Borderlands 2."
An in-action shot of "Borderlands 2." Courtesy of Borderlands 2/2K Games

Shoppers purchased fewer video games in September as they waited to replenish their supplies during the holiday season.

Sales for new video game hardware, software and accessories declined 24 percent to $848 million in September, compared to a year ago, according to research firm NPD Group. This data only accounts for about half of all U.S. video game spending because it doesn’t include products such as mobile apps or games that are rented or resold.

Despite a lackluster showing, there were some standouts. Redwood City-based Electronic Arts scored a touchdown with Madden NFL 13, which was the top selling game last month. NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan said the football game sold more copies in its debut month than last year’s Madden game. Electronic Arts also had other successes in September, with five of its games in the top 10 best sellers.

Rounding out the top three were the shooter role-playing game Borderlands 2 and FIFA Soccer 13, according to NPD data.

Callahan said he expects the demand for games to pick up in the months leading into the holiday shopping season. The November release of the new Ninetendo Wii U will also help with sales, he added.

“While year-over-year declines are present in video games software, we are seeing momentum leading up to the holidays,” Callahan said in an email.

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