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Video game sales hit the wall in March

March video game sales are down 17 percent from 2008. Maybe games aren't recession-proof after all.

New March sales data from NPD Group reveals that video game sales are finally being hit (and hit hard) by the recession. Despite a strong showing through February, March sales across the board dropped by 15 percent to 18 percent year over year from 2008 to 2009.

As reported on

Although unnerving on their own, NPD's March numbers also signaled a more alarming trend. When taken into account, the month's numbers caused 2009's first-quarter game sales to go from solid growth to a near flat line. For the January-March period, the U.S. game industry generated $4.25 billion, barely up from the $4.24 billion that it generated during the same period in 2008.

So, is it time to panic? Probably not. There has been a dearth of new hit titles and the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS (arguably both less expensive in terms of console and games) are the dominant platforms. Analysts have also suggested that with such a meteoric rise over the last year, the market was due for correction.

Software: $792.83M (-17 percent)
Hardware: $455.55M (-18 percent)
Accessories: $185.67M (-15 percent)
Total Games: $1.43B (-17 percent)

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