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Call of Duty and Halo 'mega launches' fail to halt decline in US video game sales

// News // Tech1
A scene from Call of Duty: Black Ops II
A scene from Call of Duty: Black Ops II Photo: AP

Strong sales of the latest Call of Duty and Halo sequels were not enough to prevent a drop in annual US video game sales, according to consumer research firm NPD.

The report claims that sales of hardware and software by retailers were down by 11 per cent compared with a year ago, though the figures do not include sales of games on smartphones and tablets.

The Wii U launch and sales of Assassin's Creed 3 last month also seemingly failed to dent downwards figures, which NPD attributes to sales of titles outside the top five.

"Despite an overall retail video game decline of 11 per cent, November had the smallest year-over-year decrease we have seen for dollar and unit sales so far this year," a statement reported by the BBC read.

"Overall entertainment software units decreased by 15 per cent, however, when comparing the performance of the top five titles from this year to last, we see a rise in unit sales of five per cent - games outside of the top five sold less, leading to overall declines."

There were fewer releases in November as compared with a year ago, when titles such as Skyrim, Uncharted 3 and Modern Warfare 3 went on sale.

Activision, Microsoft and Nintendo have all celebrated the success of their new products in the last few days.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II, from Activision, broke the $1 billion mark for sales, one of only a handful of games ever to have done so.

Strong sales of the Nintendo Wii U and Halo 4 for Microsoft's Xbox had also buoyed figures in the industry, but today's research shows that successes were unevenly distributed in the video games market.

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