Reuters Video game sales on track to set record in 2002 Tuesday November 19, 1:28 pm ET
LOS ANGELES, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Sales of video game hardware and software in the United States are on track to easily surpass 2001's record, with figures already up 25 percent year-over-year, according to data released on Tuesday. ADVERTISEMENT
Game hardware and software sales totaled more than $6 billion through the first 10 months of 2002, a 25 percent increase in dollar terms over the same period in 2001, according to NPDFunworld, a market research service for the games business that is a unit of the NPD Group.
Funworld said that with 50 percent or more of annual sales coming in the fourth calendar quarter, the industry could expect to generate about $4 billion more in revenue this year, bringing it past 2001's then-record $9.4 billion mark.
Sales of game consoles rose 29 percent on a dollar basis through the first 10 months of the year compared to the year-earlier period, Funworld said. Sales of console accessories like extra controllers were up 27 percent.
The company's survey found that for the 12-month period ending in October, 33 percent of all game purchases were for players ages 18 and older.
For that same period, NPD said, video games carrying a "Mature" rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board, accounted for 13 percent of all game sales, up from 6 percent in the 12 months' prior.
That growth has been driven in part by Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.'s (NasdaqNM:TTWO - News) criminal adventure game "Grand Theft Auto 3," which was the best-selling game of 2001 and is thus far the top seller of 2002.
The follow-on to that game, "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City," is already the No. 3 game for the year, even though it was not released until Oct. 29. The game sold more than 1.4 million units in its first five days of release.
Of the top 10 games of 2002 through October, seven are for Sony Corp.'s (Tokyo:6758.T - News) dominant PlayStation 2 console, with one each for Microsoft Corp.'s (NasdaqNM:MSFT - News) Xbox, Nintendo Co. Ltd.'s (7974.OS) GameCube and Nintendo's handheld Game Boy Advance.