Total sales of video game hardware and software came in at $13.1 billion in the U.S., a one percent increase over the 2013 totals,according to The NPD Group. That’s a small bump, but it’s the first time the industry has seen an overall sales increase since 2008.
The title, which is the crown jewel of the Activision Blizzard’s portfolio, represented one-quarter of the industry’s software sales at brick-and-mortar retailers last month, according to The NPD Group, which normally would be cause for celebration.
But the sales numbers posted by “Advanced Warfare,” which has been a critical hit, were 23 percent lower year over year than those posted by last year’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” according to Edward Williams of BMO Capital Markets. And “Ghosts” was a game critics took to task.
Since 2007, the series has been the video game industry’s sales leader, raking in billions of dollars for the publisher. But after last year’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts” stumbled, analysts are now wondering if consumer fatigue may finally be descending on the franchise.
The retailer on Tuesday announced the launch of a certified preowned program in 1,700 stores nationwide, finally putting those games it has been offering store credit for over the last seven months back up for sale. It’s a move that heightens the growing battle between Wal-Mart and GameStop.
It might be the tone, which appears to be darker than previous games in the series (which were hardly chuckle-fests themselves). Or it could be the prominent presence of a fully-rendered Kevin Spacey, whose starring role in the game was foreshadowed yesterday.
One thing’s for sure: It’s not the name.