It was revealed recently that Rockstar’s Max Payne 3 in its U.S. launch month sold just 440,000 units, according to data from The NPD Group. Additionally, Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier sold just over 400,000 units. These are both triple-A projects that are clearly exhibiting signs of tremendous softness in the retail market. NPD revealed that total industry sales were $516.5 million, down 28 percent, while software on consoles and portables dropped 32 percent to $255.4 million.

The fact is that retail is losing its importance and even NPD recognizes that digital games are capturing a larger and larger portion of the games business every day.

“These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories which account for roughly 50-60 percent of the total consumer spend on games,” NPD industry analyst Anita Frazier said. “When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales such as used and rentals at $155 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps and the consumer spend on social network games at $420 million, we would estimate the total consumer spend in May to be $1.17B. Our final assessment of the consumer spend on these areas outside of new physical retail sales will be reported in September in our Q2 Games Market Dynamics: U.S. report.”