Weak Game Sales Are No Problem For This Stock
Console and video game-makers slumped for all of 2012, but 2013 could be a renewed start. In the immediate term, the sector will need to overcome a chronic decline in overall sales. In December 2012, NPD Group reported a 22% decline in game sales for the month, and a 22% drop in sales for 2012. The overall sector may be dropping, but this only means that the strongest will survive. [Related: Infographic: Is The Console Dying?]
In the gaming sector, this will mean few titles capturing the largest sales. Game-makers behind these titles will be the companies to watch.
Activision’s (ATVI) Call of Duty: Black Ops II was the best-selling title in 2012 and in December. Modern Warfare III was also in the top 10. When it was launched, Black Ops II sold $500 million worth in the first 24 hours of availability.
In December 2012, the top 10 titles were:
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (X360, PS3, Wii U, PC) – Activision Blizzard
2. Just Dance 4 (X360, Wii, Wii U, PS3) – Ubisoft (UBSFY)
3. Halo 4 (X360) – Microsoft (MSFT)
4. Assassin's Creed III (X360, PS3, Wii U, PC) – Ubisoft
5. Madden NFL 13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, Wii U) – Electronic Arts (EA)
6. Far Cry 3 (X360, PS3, PC) – Ubisoft
7. NBA 2K13 (X360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC) – Take-Two (TTWO)
8. Skylanders Giants (X360, Wii, PS3, 3DS, Wii U) – Activision
9. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS) – Nintendo (NTDOY)
10. FIFA Soccer 13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, 3DS, Wii U, PSP) – Electronic Arts
Selling a winning title does not imply the stock is also a winning investment. Large-budget games also face moderately higher longer-term risks: consumers could grow bored of a title. Inadequate research and development in the right features could contribute to weakening future sales.