'Madden NFL 12' Delay a Major Factor in August Video Game Sales Decline

"Madden NFL 12"

Overall game sales were down 23 percent, to $669.9 billion, from a year ago.

Video game sales took a nosedive in August, dropping 23 percent to $669.9 million, according to data from market research firm NPD Group Inc. cited by the Los Angeles Times.

By comparison, sales in August 2010 totaled $873.8 billion (the figure includes games, consoles and extras like controllers).

Meanwhile, sales of console games dropped 34% to $264.8 million vs. $403.5 million a year ago.

Console hardware sales were off 12 percent to $249.4 billion compared with $282.9 billion in August 2010.

The drop is said to be largely in part to the delayed release of Electronic Arts' Madden NFL 12. The previous installment came out Aug. 10, but the newest didn't hit shelves until Aug. 30, meaning those sales won't be counted until September.

Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, told the Times that the drops aren't as alarming as they might appear.

"If we equalize for Madden, sales would be down less than 10%," he said. "So things are not as bad as they seem."