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Pachter Expects Strong Start To 2008

2007 turned out to be one hell of a year for the video game industry, and Wedbush Morgan Securities analyst Michael Pachter believes we'll see more significant growth in early 2008.

"We expect industry sales to be strong for the first several months of 2008, with the strong release schedule early in the year sustaining double-digit sales growth," Pachter predicted. "It is important to remember that January 2007 was a five week month, while January 2008 has only four weeks, so the comparison should be adjusted for the calendar shift. This holiday selling season is over, and all signs are that video games were top sellers. We think that once GameStop reports holiday sales (on January 10), video game investors' concerns about the economy will subside, and we expect the U.S. publisher stocks to continue to appreciate."

We await the NPD's December and full 2007 results, but in the meantime, it's not surprising to hear this prediction. We've got some pretty huge titles scheduled for the first part of 2008, including Grand Theft Auto IV, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Devil May Cry 4. Furthermore, now that all three next-gen consoles have been out for at least a year, the installed user base is certainly much higher than it used to be. The NPD has said more than once that they expect total industry sales from 2007 to top the $18 billion mark, which would be a definite record. But 2008 may shatter the record yet again. Stay tuned!

1/2/2008 Ben Dutka

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