NPD Group s report on November games sales has likely sealed the fate for a down year for the industry in 2009.  As reported in Industry Gamers, NPD s report for the month shows a worse than expected eight percent decline in overall game sales compared to the same period last year.

Just as they did last month, and despite the year s highest-profile releases hitting in November, declines again affected software and hardware.  Sales of software fell just over three percent to $1.4 billion, with a large portion of the revenues attributable to the estimated 6.1 million units of Modern Warfare 2 sold by Activision.  The game represented the month s two best-selling SKUs, topped by its 4.2 million units sold on Xbox 360.  Rounding out the top five software were Nintendo’s The New Super Mario Brothers with about 1.4 million units, Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed II Xbox 360 SKU with about 795,000 units, and EA’s Xbox-only title Left 4 Dead 2 with 744,000 units.

Hardware sales fell more than thirteen percent to approximately $1 billion.  The console competition had Nintendo on top again, selling 1.26 million units of Wii along with 1.7 million DS systems.  Microsoft reclaimed second place with about 820,000 units of Xbox 360 compared to Sony’s approximately 710,000 units sold for PS3.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier told Industry Gamers that a down year for games compared to 2008 is looking imminent, as December sales would need a 36 percent spike for break even.  She predicted 2009 total revenues would still reach $20 billion.  Read more at Industry Gamers {link no longer active}.