Even though specific video games like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Halo 4 have enjoyed some record-breaking releases, it looks as though the video game retail industry as isn’t doing so great these days.

The latest data from the NPD Group shows both video game hardware, software and accessory sales in the U.S. totaled $3.2 billion at retail alone, which is a 22 percent decline from last year’s $4.1 billion in sales. The data tracks only brick-and-mortar shops and not digital sales, such as Steam or the various digital marketplaces each console has.

“In December 2012, positive trending for many annualized franchises like Call of Duty, Skylanders, Assassin’s Creed, and FIFA, point to consumers’ increased spending on hits but that middle-tier games as well as catalog titles are suffering,” said NPD Analyst Liam Callahan. “This is evident in examining the share of December dollar sales that the top 10 titles generated, which was 46 percent in December 2012, up 12 percentage points from last December.”

I’ve never been a fan of purchasing games from retail stores as I tend to spend my gaming dollars at online retailers like Amazon and Newegg. What fuels my game buying are deals as I continually have a backlog of games that never seems to end, so I can certainly wait for new games to go down in price before I purchase them. I’m not sure if I’m unique in my handling of game purchases, but I’m sure there are those of you out there who do the same thing, which could be why retailers are seeing less sales.

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