NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It was a mixed bag this year for traditional gaming firms, which faced declining market caps and a big, new gamer demographic that's shunning expensive console systems to play free games on mobile platforms like Apple's ( AAPL) iOS and Facebook. In turn, companies like Electronic Arts ( ERTS) and Activision Blizzard ( ATVI) started to feel pressure to transition their business models toward ones that are more digitally-focused.
Analysts are expecting total video game sales for 2010 to be between $18.6 billion and $19.6 billion, which is largely flat compared to last year. The tepid forecast comes despite a stellar holiday season, which saw video game sales rise 8% last month, marking the strongest November in record, according to industry tracker NPD Group. Read on for how four of the biggest video game firms fared so far this year, and how they're set up to take on 2011.