Modern Warfare 3, Skyrim top record-breaking November sales - NPD

Last month's $3 billion US game industry haul up slightly year-over-year as Xbox 360 on top of hardware charts for fourth straight month.

November already saw one record broken with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 posting the biggest launch day sales haul ever. Today the industry tracking NPD Group reported on another record that fell, as it saw the gaming industry's largest ever haul for November, though just barely.

The best-selling game of the best-selling November on record.

The NPD Group reported that US game industry retail sales hit $3 billion for the month, up a fraction of a percent from last year's performance. Most of the gains came on the software front, as game sales were up 16 percent year-over-year to $1.74 billion. However, hardware sales slowed considerably (down 9 percent to $982.4 million), and accessory sales came in at $273.8 million down 34 percent due to tough comparisons with last November, when Microsoft launched the Kinect.

While Kinect sales might not have been up to their previous levels, the Xbox 360 console itself enjoyed a strong month at retail, capped off by a Thanksgiving week that saw nearly 1 million systems sold.

[UPDATE]: After the NPD numbers were released, Microsoft representatives on Twitter confirmed the Xbox 360 sold 1.7 million systems in November.

"This is the fourth consecutive month in which the Xbox 360 has been the top selling hardware system," The NPD Group noted in its release. "The gap between 360 sales and sales of the next best selling platform was the largest we've seen since December 2008 when the Nintendo DS was the top selling system."

In December 2008, the DS' 3.04 million systems sold beat out the second-place Wii's sales total by 890,000 units.

On the software side of things, Modern Warfare 3 was predictably the top slot on the charts, with the NPD saying the first-person shooter beat last year's Call of Duty: Black Ops launch month performance by 7 percent. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was another strong performer, finishing second on the charts. In fact, Bethesda's latest sold enough copies in its first month on sale to bring its total within 500,000 copies of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion's lifetime sales total.

Batman: Arkham City also continued to sell well in its second month on the charts, with the NPD Group saying it is now "just shy" of Batman: Arkham Asylum's lifetime sales figure. The NPD Group also acknowledged a pair of system exclusives in Super Mario 3D Land for 3DS and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary for Xbox 360 that would have made a top 10 list based on individual SKUs but were crowded out of the final top 10 by multiplatform titles.

NOVEMBER 2011 US GAME SALES (Oct. 30 - Nov. 26)
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $3 billion (0.4%)
Total non-PC retail sales: $2.93 billion (-0.5%)
Non-PC hardware: $982.4 million (-9%)
Non-PC software: $1.67 billion (15%)
Accessories: $273.8 million (-34%)
Total software: $1.74 billion (16%)

TOP 10 GAMES FOR NOVEMBER 2011
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (X360, PS3, PC) - Activision
2. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (X360, PS3, PC) - Bethesda Softworks
3. Battlefield 3 (X360, PS3, PC) - EA
4. Assassin's Creed: Revelations (X360, PS3, PC) - Ubisoft
5. Just Dance 3 (Wii, X360) - Ubisoft
6. Madden NFL 12 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP) - EA
7. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (PS3) - Sony
8. Saints Row: The Third (X360, PS3, PC) - Microsoft Game Studios
9. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii) - Nintendo
10. Batman: Arkham City (X360, PS3, PC) - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

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Discussion

103 comments
simransaha
simransaha

Hi, Microsoft brings amazing console platform – Xbox Live. Electronicfirst offers Xbox Live Gold Membership Subscription, Microsoft Points, PSN Cards and world of warcraft gaming cards. you can buy with minimum price..

lewishim666
lewishim666

This news makes me physically ill. MW3 is not better then Skyrim.

Gravity_Slave
Gravity_Slave

kinda ironic considering they weren't the best sequals ever. Skyrim was Oblivion 2 and MW3 was a bastardization arcade version of CoD.

Hurvl
Hurvl

BF3 at number 3, that's a nice coincidence (or is it just coincidence?). "Total retail sales: $3 billion, Total non-PC retail sales: $2.93 billion", so PC stood for 0,7 billions of retail sales or 23,3 %. Lol, that only shows how many PC gamers get their games other ways than retail.

Fryboy101
Fryboy101

@RitterXplode your post makes zero sense. that's the point of multiplatform games. Also, just because an exclusive game isn't in the top ten does not mean they don't exist.

pataponplayer
pataponplayer

@Jmoolah95 Actually, according to Gamespot, Just Dance 3 is actually better than Skyward Sword. :/

RitterXplode
RitterXplode

There is no Xbox exclusive in the TOP 10 GAMES FOR NOVEMBER 2011. I wonder what is the point of buying a console if you can play everything it has in another one.

Jmoolah95
Jmoolah95

@Pataponplayer I believe that this list is based on sales not ratings so it really doesn't matter.

FatmanAB
FatmanAB

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

FatmanAB
FatmanAB

Congrats Ubi Soft for have Tow of Your Games on the top (Assassins creed is the best Game series by far in this generation)

pataponplayer
pataponplayer

Just Dance beats Skyward Sword. That's awful.

JackHoleFace00
JackHoleFace00

To set aside the fan boy flames for a second, I think everyone should be happy that the industry is doing well. It was sad, seeing how the gaming industry kept breaking records year after year, then started losing ground once the economic collapse happened. Hopefully this is a return to form for the growth of gaming. And really, if you set your bias aside for a moment, most of the games in the top 10 are high-quality games and deserve it (Skyrim, BF3, Batman: AC, UC3--UNBELIEVABLE year for games!).

EsYuGee
EsYuGee

@steelmouth: Um, Uncharted is 7th on the list. It's the highest performing exclusive. No need for a special mention if it made the list. ;-/

MikeM519
MikeM519

I would like to say your welcome to the gaming industry; I bought mw3, skyrim, arkham city, and gears 3. So again whiny game industry your welcome!

steelmouth
steelmouth

So what happend to the millions Sony claims Uncharted sold,it didnt even get no special mention here Big Up to Halo CE anniversary

charles1432juli
charles1432juli

why is there no ctf hardcore or our they going to bring it

zinoalex
zinoalex

I am looking forward very much to this Holiday season and the great titles gamers will get! I already have Skyrim and Battlefield 3, but the rest of wht I may get is , well--the waiting is the hardest part.(Thanks go to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for the use of their lyrics)

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

Some people just have nothing to say, so they try and insult others, call names and belittle. Calling someone Hitler has no place in life let alone these forms. Of course some people will just be childish and immature and you cant help those people. And in other cases, those people may simply be children who do not know how to interact socially in the first place. Its sad but I've come to expect it from this current generation of children.

tdr2009
tdr2009

I don't get this. "8. Saints Row: The Third (X360, PS3, PC) - Microsoft Game Studios" Since when has Saints Row The Third made by Microsoft Game Studios? It's Volition and publisher is THQ.

geordiebe
geordiebe

halo halo halo halo halo why no halo halo halo halo ce

DLobotomist
DLobotomist

between MW3, BF3, Skyrim and Gears of War 3.... this holiday will be the most game crazy holiday ever, the amount of hours spent playing game imo is going to be crazy.... that is until D3 and SC2 HoS comes out next year...

boiardee14
boiardee14

@phatjam98 wow kid, stop trying to change everyones opinions, if some1 thinks something thats not your own though, who cares, let it be. and dont u have to be 18 to have an account on this site? every1 knows that the numbers in ppl names are ussually their birth date, so that would make you about 13

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@Lemant Skyrim is one of the best games of all time. I am hopeful that Kingdoms of Amalur will be great as I love RPG games and stories. But comparing the two seems a bit out of place. Kingdoms of Amalur is a 3rd person action combat game, where as Skyrim is a first person open type of game. They dont seem to have enough in common to pit them against each other I don't think.

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

boiardee14
boiardee14

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@boiardee14 LOL wow really buddy. You think I went off on you? I called you out as being a very negative person as you just had to state that there were alot of, in your opinion, bad games and listed Rage which got an 8.5 and was still a good game, and BF3 which was still a good game while both were disappointing to be sure. You chose to focus on 2 games you dislike, rather than potentially 10 or more other games that were amazing. And then you try and say that my life is depressing and compare me to hitler LOL give me a break sparky.

x_hunter00
x_hunter00

Wait a second, from oct. 24 to nov. 31, BF3 has sold only 8 million copies? After a strong marketing blitz and BF lovers coming out of the wood work to show their support, 8 million seems kinda low.

captkiwi
captkiwi

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

boiardee14
boiardee14

@phatjam98 im entitled to my opinion, it just makes me sad to know that your life is that depressing that you have to go off on a person who doesnt agree with you. you know who else did that? hitler

Lemant
Lemant

Come February 2012, enter the Kingdoms of Amalur. Move aside, Skyrim, and make way for the new RPG champion.

daub11
daub11

C.O.D-MW3 is still one of the best war games ever played, just because i think that it has the best graphics then any game that i have ever played.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

I can happily say that I'm not one of the fools who brought Modern Warfare 2.3. I can happily say though...that I am one of those proud buyers of Skyrim.

bobertobob
bobertobob

I thought I would not like MW3 and did not buy it but was over at my friend's house and played it and was quite surprised. The graphics may not have improved but it was much better than Black Ops and does not deserve the low scores people have given it that obviously have not played it. May not be as good as BF3 but not a terrible game

aaronm90
aaronm90

@im-a-roustabout - I agree. Games like Resistance, Infamous, Killzone, Heavy Rain, God of War and Littlebigplanet are remarkable...and then there are titles such as the Uncharted series and Metal Gear Solid that can hardly be measured amongst other titles. Sony can put out some damn good titles, but their marketing is awful, their user interfaces tend to be clumsy (though part of me suspects this is cultural- take Gran Turismo 5 for example), and the higher price point has always hurt them in western markets. However, the ps3 has just entered the second half of it's life cycle (according to Sony's business model). They try to establish a user base and work out the kinks early on, selling the product at a loss, then eventually reduce costs of production and turn profit. The model makes sense to me, but I don't think its a necessarily good one. That said, they did it with the ps2, the psp, the ps3, and they plan to do it with the PSVita. I just wish Sony was so damn stubborn about hardware configs (See 256mb RAM x 2 vs x360's 512mb x 1)

aaronm90
aaronm90

So yeah, some of the x360's sales do come from people buying replacements. I worked at gamestop for over a year and this is definitely the case. However, that number isn't as substantial as some might believe. Most people make such claims with no reference point at all really. They just have evidence that xboxes can potentially break. I prefer my ps3 over my xbox in every regard, but from what I observed as an SGA at Gamestop, the xbox 360 to ps3 ratio for NEW buyers was staggering, sometimes reaching 4:1, 5:1. The ratio dropped significantly in the past few months since Sony's price drop and release of numerous AAA exclusives. However, from Black Friday onward, the 360 picked up steam again. I love my ps3s, but my repressed fanboyism can't change the statistics. Props to Microsoft from capitalizing on a lower price point.

Robotman170
Robotman170

Battlefield 3 haters just shut up. u all know your gonna get thumbs down anyway

Bigbudd0045
Bigbudd0045

@amaan4ever people who need to replace theirs, or ps3 users who want one, or kids who had wiis and now want a 360. That being said...my ps3 stopped reading blu rays so if i cant fix it i might have to buy a new one (cost difference on sending it back to sony is small enough that i might as well buy a new one).

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

Who the hell keeps buying these xboxes every month???

RitsukoEX
RitsukoEX

@im-a-roustabout LOL!!! ( goes buy MW3 )

mtait01
mtait01

I think the number 2 on these lists should just become the new number 1... Trying to outsell COD is just impossible in this day in age. Still I was happy to see Skyrim outsell Battlefield 3 :)

Haasdude
Haasdude

I've always been curious about Skyrim, but I don't think I possess the self control to keep it from ruining my life.

Phatjam98
Phatjam98

@boiardee14 LOL you are funny. There are alot of disappointing games this year and you name 2 games LOL. Not just 2 games, 2 games that were still highly rated and good games they just didn't live up to imaginary hype. You truly are a sad person it seems. Instead of playing the multitude of games that were amazing you talk about the bad ones LOL Soooo funny