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Videogame sales drop for fourth month amid hardware slowdown (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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Videogame sales fell year-over-year for a fourth straight month in February – now with broad drops across categories keeping up the slump vs. the prior year (and against some tough pandemic comparisons).

Overall sales fell 6% from February 2021, to $4.384 billion, according to NPD Group.

January’s sales had fallen just 2% from the prior year. And December’s had dipped 1%.

February’s sales weren’t lifted by hardware, as had been the case recently: Hardware dollar sales fell 27% to $295 million (and new-generation consoles were still hard to come by amid ongoing supply issues). Accessory sales dropped 7% to $180 million. And the biggest category, software/games, saw a 4% drop to $3.91 billion.

In hardware, the best-selling platform for the month in unit and dollar terms was the Nintendo Switch (OTCPK:NTDOY), followed on both counts by the Xbox Series S/X machines (NASDAQ:MSFT). PlayStation 5 (NYSE:SONY), meanwhile, leans on a strong January to keep reigning as 2022’s top dollar-sales platform so far.

The drop in accessory spending deepened a slide that’s now down 11% year-over-year. The best-selling accessory was again the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller (MSFT).

And the games dollar-sales chart had some unsurprising fresh blood near the top, as Elden Ring (OTCPK:NCBDY) debuted on top, just ahead of fellow newcomer Horizon: Forbidden West (SONY). Both of those titles topped last month’s leader, Pokémon Legends: Arceus (OTCPK:NTDOY).

The Pokémon game, meanwhile, finished just ahead of two other debuts: Dying Light 2: Stay Human (OTCPK:SQNNY) at No. 4, and Total War: Warhammer III (OTCPK:SGAMY) at No. 5. Holiday hit (and last month’s No. 2) Call of Duty: Vanguard (NASDAQ:ATVI) was in the sixth spot.

Rounding out the top 10: No. 7, Madden NFL 22 (NASDAQ:EA); No. 8, Mario Kart 8 (OTCPK:NTDOY); No. 9, FIFA 22 (EA); and No. 10, Minecraft.

Turning to mobile games, spending dropped again – by 2.5% year-over-year – withdrawing from some record growth through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sensor Tower data show top mobile games by revenue were Candy Crush Saga (ATVI), Roblox (NYSE:RBLX), Coin Master, Genshin Impact, Pokémon GO (OTCPK:NTDOY), Garena Free Fire (NYSE:SE), Evony: The King’s Return, Clash of Clans, Homescapes, and Royal Match.

Related tickers: OTCPK:NTDOY, SONY, MSFT, HEAR, LOGI, CRSR, EA, ATVI, TTWO, T, OTCPK:UBSFY, OTCPK:NCBDY, OTCPK:SQNNY, OTCPK:CCOEY, OTCPK:SGAMY, ZNGA, SKLZ, SE, NTES, OTCPK:TCEHY, RBLX. Retail stock: GME.

ETFs: GAMR, ESPO, NERD

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