There has been much speculation about how this April’s game sales figures will stack up, based on the reported declines in March, concerns about how resistant gaming is to the recession, and even the effect of Easter falling in March instead April this year. But the prime focus has been the quality and popularity of the slate of games released. On that score, the weekly Video Game Tracking survey shows that consumers did not have as high of purchase interest for games released in April 2009 compared to the same month last year.
The key differences are with the top three titles. In April 2008, the widely anticipated Grand Theft Auto IV and Mario Kart Wii were released, in addition to Gran Turismo 5: Prologue. In their week of release, these titles piqued consumer purchase interest, with nearly a third (32%) of gamers on eligible platforms saying they were definitely interested in purchasing GTA IV. By contrast in 2009, Dragon Ball: Evolution led among titles released in April with 15% definite interest but the base size for this title is small based on the fact that it was only released on the PSP. The Godfather II was released more widely, however, and registered 14% definite purchase interest.