Video Game Sales Rise In AprilU.S. Video Game Software Sales Rise 9% in April The video game business continues to thrive. Even in the face of a console transition year, month after month sales are up. Through April software sales have increased by 14 percent and the entire industry has grown 23 percent. And as positive as the handheld sector has been for the industry, the growth has been widespread across all categories. The NPD Group has released its latest Funworld data for the month of April, which indicated that video game software sales saw a nine percent increase year-over-year. Total sales were $342 million compared to $315 million in April 2004. Industry sales as a whole were up nearly 21 percent in April, and in 2005 through April software sales were up 14 percent and the industry has grown almost 23 percent—in a console transition year no less. Although there were increases in categories across the board, handheld software sales, which were up 79 percent, once again gave the industry a nice boost thanks to the continued strength of the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP. In April, portable hardware accounted for 19 percent of total sales and portable software accounted for 13 percent. Top sellers There were 10 games that sold more than 100,000 units; last April there were 7. The top game for the month was Take-Twos Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition, which sold through more 397,000 copies on PS2 and Xbox combined. Activisions Doom 3 (both regular and limited edition) was close behind with a combined 385,000 units sold. As many expected, Sonys God of War also continued to sell, as more than 182,000 PS2 owners picked up the game in April. [ "The year has already hit very close to $3 billion... Were looking at a really strong, healthy industry," Anita Frazier, Entertainment Industry Analyst, NPD Group ] The top ten games (by unit sales) for the month were as follows: Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition—PS2—Take-Two Doom 3 Collectors Edition—Xbox—Activision God of War—PS2—Sony Doom 3—Xbox—Activision Tom Clancys Splinter Cell Chaos Theory—Xbox—Ubisoft Midnight Club 3: DUB Edition—Xbox—Take-Two MVP Baseball 2005—PS2—EA LEGO Star Wars—PS2—Eidos WWE Wrestlemania XXI—Xbox—THQ Jade Empire Limited Edition—Xbox—Microsoft A healthy industry Although many analysts had expected even better growth for April, NPD Entertainment Industry Analyst Anita Frazier sees the overall picture as being very positive. "So many people thought that as we head into a platform transition year...that we would see the industry soften a little bit and thats clearly not the case," she told GameDAILY BIZ. "For April year-to-date weve seen gains across all the categories—hardware, software, accessories, etc. The year has already hit very close to $3 billion... Were looking at a really strong, healthy industry." She added, "The top ten titles continue to sell more and more. An increased number of consumers are participating and buying these products. The story is not just about the new handheld systems, which have clearly done really well and contributed very good growth to the industry, but there is also growth among the top console titles, the console systems and accessories. Really, the health is widespread."