Sales of triple-A video games are at an all-time low in the UK, which has led to a 25 per cent decline in the retail market compared to the same period last year, reports MCV.
Publishers are said to be shocked by the hugely disappointing sales of big titles, including major sequels.
An unnamed, but prominent analyst told MCV that sales are "half of what they should be".
Retail sources have also revealed that the year's major new game releases are well down on those released in the same period last year, shifting between 10,000 and 48,000 copies during the first week on sale. By comparison, triple-A games from early in 2011 sold between 35,000 and 80,000 copies.
An unnamed published, commenting on its struggling triple-A title, told MCV: "We are trying to understand it, but everything is selling well below what it should. It is an absolute nightmare. I'm not making half the money back I'm spending on marketing."
Another publisher added: "Nobody is looking at Chart-Track's numbers so far this year and thinking 'cool'."
The UK boss of a Japanese publisher says the performance of upcoming titles Syndicate and Mass Effect 3 will be watched "very closely".
No games have been named, but we only have to look back at the release schedule to work out which titles are likely to have underperformed.
UFC 3 arrived with a bang at No.1, but failed to outsell first week numbers of last year's game. Other major releases included Final Fantasy XIII-2, SoulCalibur V, The Darkness 2 and Resident Evil: Revelations.