Game Industry Had A Boffo March (Of Course)


There were few surprises in March for the game industry. Consoles and games sold incredibly well, led by the Nintendo’s Wii and “Super Smash Bros. Brawl,” which drove a 57% y/y gain in overall sales, according to NPD Group numbers released yesterday.

But there was one surprise: Microsoft’s (MSFT) Xbox 360 narrowly beat Sony’s (SNE) PS3 in March sales, breaking PS3’s two-month reign over Xbox. Sales of the PS3 fell off about 23,000 units from February to 257,000, while the Xbox 360 gained about 8,000 to sell 262,000 units. But at least in March both systems beat the 8-year-old PS2.

The release of Nintendo’s “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” appears to have triggered a run on the Wii, which sold 721,000, a 300,00-unit gain from February. “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” sold 2.1 million units during the month, more than triple the second place game, “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 (Ubisoft).” Both games released on March 8. The top game of February, “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” (ATVI) sold 296,200 units.

But even with these massive sales, not all video game studios are reaping the benefits — four have already closed this year.

See Also: That Recession? Game Companies Aren’t Feeling It