According to number crunchers at NPD, game industry sales have given Canadian retail outlets the cold shoulder so far in 2009. Much like the region's warmer cousin to the south
, sales have slowed through the first quarter, with NPD reporting an 8.5 percent decline in overall sales compared to the same period last year. Interestingly, it isn't games that shoulder the biggest burden of this hit, but hardware, with sales of portables plummeting a dramatic 21 percent during the period. Console sales fared little better, dropping 14.5 percent in sales year-over-year.
The dip represents a first for the market since NPD began tracking Canadian sales in 2002. The group points to an overall lack of "blockbuster titles" so far compared to 2008 as a driving reason for the ongoing slump, with the same period in 2007 buffeted on sales of games like Guitar Hero III
and Super Smash Bros. Brawl
. As games like Resident Evil 5
and Halo Wars
are not enough to get more Canadians checking out new platforms, clearly the time is right for a new hockey or moose hunting game to ski in and save the day.