Later this week, The NPD Group will release its August video game report, which will reveal how well the industry did at retail last month. Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz is predicting that report will show double-digit percentage growth for the first time in around 30 months.
Creutz is expecting new physical software at retail to see a 18 percent increase year-over-year in the NPD report. As I wrote last month, this likely marks the end of the financially strained console transition.
“We expect EA’s NFL title to sell through 1 million units, in-line with the figure disclosed in last week’s press release,” Creutz wrote in a note to investors. “However, even without Madden, we would expect August NPD would be close to break-even, due to other major title launches including [Deep Silver's] Saints Row IV, Disney’s Infinity, Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and Nintendo’s Pikmin 3.”
The Cowen analyst estimated the sales for the major August releases as follows:
- Madden NFL 25: 1 million
- Saints Row IV: 522,000
- Disney Infinity: 225,000
- Splinter Cell: Blacklist: 209,000
- Pikmin 3: 185,000
Gaming’s growth at retail is likely not an anomaly. Grand Theft Auto V is due out next week and will continue to expand sales. Battlefield 4 will boost sales in October. After that, it’s all Call of Duty and next-gen consoles.
“We think November and December are likely to be up in the single-digit range, but a lot depends on launch quantities and attach rates of the new consoles,” wrote Creutz. “We now expect software sales to finish the year in positive territory for the first time since 2008.”
Sony will launch PlayStation 4 Nov. 15. Xbox One launches Nov. 22.