SOURCE: Rothman Research

Rothman Research

April 12, 2010 08:53 ET

Gear Up!! A Virtual Tsunami Is Flooding the Market

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwire - April 12, 2010) - - Twenty years back if someone was an addicted gamer, he would have beentagged as a marginal and his parents would have made his life a living hell. Even if things did not really change on the parental-front nowadays, the main difference is that it is not just the kids playing video games any more. What started as a humble business model in the 1980's has now grown into a multi-billion dollar industry powered by ever-innovating technological progress. The U.S. alone brought $19.66 billion in revenue for 2009 from retail sales of video games; an 8% decline in revenue as compared to 2008. However, this shortfall in YOY revenue seemed to have been offset by a bullish sentiment brewing in the video game industry following sweeping record-breaking sales registered in December 2009. Activision Blizzard's (NASDAQ: ATVI) hit video game, Modern Warfare 2, which registered 4.7 million units sold in the first 24 hours of its release in the U.S. and U.K. and topped over $1 billion in sales as of early January 2010, has by far been 2009's top-seller.

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In February, retail sales for video games were down 15% as result of a continuing slump in sales of music games and reduced sales in Wii system. Even if the industry experts are a little disappointed by this monthly performance, they are confident that holiday season would be the best time to throw in criticisms. "February has never been a key-study month for Video Games sales... hence I am not really worried about sales figures now, even if we have seen the launch of highly-anticipated titles like "BioShock 2' from Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ: TTWO)... I believe we will see some great sales figures for March that could well compensate the negatives of February as more highly-anticipated games like God of War 3 and Final Fantasy XIII flooded the market," commented Mathew Collier of, "One of the great positive with the gaming industry is that there are new growing revenue streams which makes growth potential even more appealing for the long-term." 

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The street seems to be playing the multimedia & graphics software industry with caution at this moment. The general feeling is tuned to 'wait-and-see' mode with hopeful expectation that sales growth will rebound in mid-year 2010. March figures will be the bearer of crucial news... and investors are already gearing up for 1st quarter reporting which is due in the early days of May 2010.

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