A light release schedule for new console games last May was likely a big factor in a massive drop in total game revenue for that month, according to the newly revealed figures from the NP Group. Industry Gamers reports that total sales for May 2011 for the game industry came in at $743.1 million, down a whopping 14 percent from the same period a year ago. The numbers are also the lowest for the industry since October 2006. The NPD Group also points out that these numbers are just for games sold in retail stores and don't cover digital download releases.
NPD analyst Anita Frazier is quoted as saying, "This month's story really is about a light new release schedule as compared to last year. There were 42 new SKU’s introduced in May as compared to 58 last May, and 72 in 2009." Software sales were indeed down by 19 percent to $375.8 million. Hardware sales came in at $228.9 million, down just 5 percent and accessories, which include things like points and subscription cards, came in at $114 million for May, down 6 percent. Microsoft's Xbox 360 console continues to dominate console hardware sales in the US, selling 270,000 units in May.
LA Noire, the 1940's crime action adventure game from developer Team Bondi and publisher Rockstar Games, was the number one best selling game in May. Brink, the sci-fi first person shooter from developer Splash Damage and publisher Bethesda Softworks, was the number two best selling game despite mixed reviews. Disney Interactive's movie tie-in game Lego Pirates of the Caribbean was number three for May followed by Portal 2 in fourth place and Mortal Kombat in fifth place