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A list of terms and abbreviations used in the gaming industry and what they mean.

  • CY - the standard calendar year going from January 1 to December 31
  • Fiscal year - a business year for a company. e.g. April 1 to March 31
  • Franchise - a long running series as well as characters that have been portrayed in many games
  • Front-loaded - when the majority of a game's sales are in it's first week or month
  • GC - Nintendo GameCube
  • HW - Hardware. See also: SW
  • Install base - The number of people owning a particular game system
  • IP (Intellectual Property) - essentially a unique video game, character, or invention. For example, Nintendo own the IP rights to all the Mario games; Wii Fit is a new IP for Nintendo.
  • Legs - the sustainability of sales in the long-term. For example, Brain Age Training has been in the charts for over a year, thus it has strong legs.
  • LTD - launch to date or lifetime to date - refers to game or console sales from its initial release to present date
  • Megaton - when an announcement is due to be made that will "shake the foundations of gaming to its core". (ex. FFXIII being multi-platform)
  • NDS - Nintendo DS
  • SKU - "Stock keeping unit", a distinct product (example1: an SKU each for Halo and Halo Collectors Edition. example2: an SKU for Grand Theft Auto IV for PS3 and another for the Xbox 360 version.
  • Software tie ratio (attach rate) - how many games a system owner buys on average
  • SW - Software. See also: HW
  • Timed exclusive - a video game that releases on one console exclusively for a short period of time and then releases on a competing system.
  • WW - worldwide; often seen as 30m units sold WW
  • YOY - a year over year comparison e.g. comparing 2008 fiscal year with 2007 fiscal year.
  • YTD - year to date - refers to game or console sales from the beginning of the year to present date.

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