February video game retail sales drop 20 percent

NEW YORK (AP) ? A market research group says U.S. retail sales of video games tumbled 20 percent in February as people cut spending on game systems and software.

The NPD Group says sales totaled $1.06 billion last month from $1.33 billion in February 2011. Software sales fell 23 percent to $464.4 million and hardware sales fell 18 percent to $381.4 million.

Sales of video game accessories declined 16 percent to $215.2 million.

The month’s top-selling game was “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” from Activision Blizzard Inc. Square Enix Inc.’s “Final Fantasy XIII-2” came in at No. 2.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier estimates that people spent an additional $550 million to $600 million on acquiring video content outside of brick-and-mortar retail stores.