Computer game sales increase but ad spend decreases

Advertising spend in the computer games industry is expected to fall ahead of Christmas despite computer games sales figures increasing in the last quarter, according to experts.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Figures from retailer Game show popular games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 reduced the effects of the recession and revived interest in computer games.

Sales at stores fell 13.9% in the 18 weeks to 5 December, compared to a fall of 16.6% in the 33 weeks to 19 September. The retailer says it is now looking ahead to the Christmas period “cautiously” but is optimistic for “a solid outturn for the year”.

Last month Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 broke industry records selling well over three million copies. Games developer Activision launched a multi-million pound campaign to support the launch of the hotly anticipated game.

However, according to experts at trade magazine MCV, games developers have opted to spend significantly less on gaming this year, with total spend approaching nearer the £100m mark in total. It is usually at least three times that much, in anticipation of rushes to buy the hotly desired gifts.

This is partly due to cheaper ad costs, but also awareness that computer games are not the main items on Christmas wish lists any more.

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