We expect September U.S. retail video game software sales data to be released by the NPD Group after the market close on Thursday, October 17. We expect console/handheld software sales of $910 million, up 83 percent compared to last year’s $498 million due primarily to the record-breaking performance of new release Take-Two’s (NASDAQ:TTWO) Grand Theft Auto V.
In August, sales were up y-o-y for the first time since January, with the first month of true growth (same number of weeks for August and its comparison period) since November 2011.
The growth was driven by the timing and better-than-expected performance of this year’s Madden release, as well as a strong release slate. We believe the drop-off in Madden sales this September from this timing issue will be more than offset by GTA V strength, likely the year’s top seller.
Exhibit 1: Estimated Console/Handheld Software Sales
Michael Pachter is an analyst at Wedbush Securities.