Last Thursday, the NPD Group released its non-PC game-industry sales report for November. To the surprise of nobody, the top 10 list that accompanied it was led by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The Xbox 360 (4.2 million units) and PlayStation 3 (1.87 million) editions of the game came in first and second, followed by the month's other big debut, New Super Mario Bros. Wii (1.39 million). Assassin's Creed II, Left 4 Dead 2, Wii Sports Resort, Wii Fit Plus, Dragon Age: Origins, and Mario Kart Wii also made the top 10.
Now, NPD has released lists for November's top 20 non-PC and PC games at retail. On the former list, the only truly new entry was the PS3 version of EA and BioWare's heavily hyped fantasy role-playing game, Dragon Age: Origins, which laid claim to the 15th slot. In 17th place was God of War Collection, which contains the 2005 and 2007 PlayStation 2 action classics reformatted with upscaled HD graphics for the non-backward-compatible PS3.
The non-PC top 20 revealed that many October hits didn't have much staying power. Both the month's top-selling single product, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and the overall best-selling game, NBA 2K10, were nowhere to be found on the November chart. The Xbox 360 edition of the month's overall second-best-selling game, Borderlands, managed to hang on in 19th, just behind October's sixth-place finisher, Halo 3: ODST, originally released in September.
Indeed, thanks to holiday shoppers looking for proven properties, the rest of the bottom half of the non-PC chart featured all previously released games. (NPD does not provide units for the bottom half of the top 20.) The glorified Wii Remote bundle, Wii Play, came in 11th nearly three years after its February 2007 release, followed by Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (Wii, 12th), Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (DS, 14th), and Madden NFL 10 (360, 20th).
In 13th and 16th place were two mystery entries--the "Value Game Bundle 19.99" for the Wii and the "Value Game Bundle 14.99" for the DS. Though NPD had not identified which games the two packages contain as of press time, GameStop currently sells a $19.99 Wii game bundle that includes two titles from the now-defunct Midway Games: the minigame comp Game Party and the racer Cruis'n.
Over on the PC charts, Modern Warfare 2 was also the top-selling title, despite the controversy surrounding the fact that the game doesn't support dedicated servers. It was followed by Dragon Age: Origins, which GameSpot awarded a near-perfect 9.5 on the PC, versus 9.0 on the PS3 and 8.5 on the 360. The collector's edition of the long-in-development RPG finished in 14th place.
In third was another new entry, the Sims 3: World Adventures expansion pack, which finished one slot ahead of chart fixture The Sims 3. In fifth was the month's other major PC debut, Valve Software's Left 4 Dead 2, which sold well at retail despite being distributed via its developer's Steam service. Steam sales are not counted in NPD's monthly rankings, and Valve does not release the service's unit sales figures to the public.
One game that showed next to no staying power was NCsoft's Aion. After finishing second in October, the massively multiplayer role-playing game barely made the top 20, landing in 18th place. By contrast, World of Warcraft has remained in the top 10 for almost the entire five years since its November 2004 release.
US GAME SALES - NOVEMBER 2009
RANK / LAST MONTH / TITLE / PLATFORM / PUBLISHER / RELEASE DATE / UNITS (top 10 only)
1 / ** / Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 / 360 / Activision / Nov-09 / 4,200,000
2 / ** / Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 / PS3 / Activision / Nov-09 / 1,870,000
3 / ** / New Super Mario Bros. Wii / Wii / Nintendo / Nov-09 / 1,390,000
4 / ** / Assassin's Creed II / 360 / Ubisoft / Nov-09 / 794,700
5 / ** / Left 4 Dead 2 / 360 / Electronic Arts / Nov-09 / 744,000
6 / 4 / Wii Sports Resort / Wii / Nintendo / Jul-09 / 720,200
7 / 2 / Wii Fit Plus / Wii / Nintendo / Oct-09 / 679,000
8 / ** / Assassin's Creed II / PS3 / Ubisoft / Nov-09 / 448,400
9 / ** / Dragon Age: Origins / 360 / Electronic Arts / Nov-09 / 362,100
10 / 20 / Mario Kart Wii (w/ wheel) / Wii / Nintendo / Apr-08 / 315,000
11 / ** / Wii Play (w/ Remote) / Wii / Nintendo / Feb-07
12 / ** / Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games / Wii / Sega / Oct-09
13 / ** / Value Game Bundle 19.99 / Wii / Various/ Sep-07
14 / 14 / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / DS / Nintendo / Sep-09
15 / ** / Dragon Age: Origins / PS3 / Electronic Arts / Nov-09
16 / ** / Value Game Bundle 14.99 / DS / Various / Oct-07
17 / ** / God of War Collection / PS3 / Sony / Nov-09
18 / 6 / Halo 3: ODST / 360 / Microsoft / Sep-09
19 / 3 / Borderlands / 360 / 2K Games / Oct-09
20 / 18 / Madden NFL 10 / 360 / Electronic Arts / Aug-09
US PC GAME SALES - NOVEMBER 2009
RANK / LAST MONTH / TITLE / PLATFORM / PUBLISHER
1 / ** / Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 / Activision
2 / ** / Dragon Age: Origins / Electronic Arts
3 / ** / The Sims 3: World Adventures / Electronic Arts
4 / 1 / The Sims 3 / Electronic Arts
5 / ** / Left 4 Dead 2 / Electronic Arts
6 / 12 / World of Warcraft / Blizzard Entertainment
7 / 3 / Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy / Her Interactive
8 / 7 / Borderlands / 2K Games
9 / 4 / World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King / Blizzard Entertainment
10 / 10 / World of Warcraft: Battle Chest / Blizzard Entertainment
11 / 6 / The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / Electronic Arts
12 / 9 / IGT Slots: Texas Tea / Masque
13 / 5 / Mumbo Jumbo Assortment / Mumbo Jumbo
14 / ** / Dragon Age: Origins Collector's Edition / Electronic Arts
15 / ** / Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut Edition / Ubisoft
16 / ** / BioShock / 2K Games
17 / ** / Far Cry 2 / Ubisoft
18 / 2 / Aion / NCsoft
19 / 13 / Spore / Electronic Arts
20 / ** / The Sims 2 University Life Collection / Electronic Arts