Recession? Apparently the gaming industry isn’t aware of any recession. The NPD Group just released numbers for the gaming industry’s sales for November, and they’ve only gone up since last year while everything else in the economy has been heading down.
NPD reported the gaming industry had a 10% increase in November compared to the same time last year, which has brought the total for 2008 so far to a whopping $16 billion, and we still have the shopping frenzied month of December left to go. Sales of hardware, software and accessories brought in almost $3 billion in the month of November alone.
Breaking things down by console, the Nintendo Wii continued its unprecedented run of success by selling unheard of amounts in the post-Thanksgiving Black Friday shopping period. Wii’s flew out the door and sold over 2 million units. Microsoft found itself far behind, but still ahead of the PS3 with those consoles selling 836,000 and 378,000 units respectively.
Despite its huge lead in sales, its interesting to see things are lopsided a bit differently on the software side of things with the Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 2 selling over a million and a half units, followed closely by the 360 version of Activision’s Call of Duty: World at War.
With Nintendo warning that despite its best efforts (they’re producing 2.4 million Wii consoles a month world wide) that the Wii may once again be scarce during the winter months, there’s no indication that any of this should slow down during December no matter what the economy is doing. Several “experts” have speculated on what’s driving the gaming industry in this weak economy, with some speculating that gaming is an appealing entertainment alternative that provides a large amount of entertainment time wise compared to the monetary investment. I think it’s just because people like video games. Whatever the reason, while the rest of the US and world economy languishes in recession, this may be one of the biggest years yet for gaming.