Nov. US PC game retail sales hit $51.7 million, Call of Duty top 2009 franchise

NPD analyst pegs total store-bought software figure at $1.46 million last month; Activision's shooter franchise most lucrative so far in 2009.

Yesterday, the NPD Group issued its monthly US game-industry retail sales recap for November, reporting that total sales had slipped 7.6 percent to $2.7 billion. Non-PC software came closest to hitting last year's mark, slipping just 3 percent to $1.41 billion. However, that figure was heavily inflated by the stupendous success of just one game: Activision and Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sold a combined 6 million units on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Modern Warfare 2 has neutralized the competition in 2009.

Today, NPD analyst Anita Frazier offered a few more brief updates concerning November game sales by way of her Twitter feed. Factoring in PC retail sales, November's total software haul hit $1.46 billion for the month, a 6.6 percent decline over the same period in 2008. Frazier clarified that total for GameSpot, noting that PC game sales brought in $51.7 million on the month, with the remaining portion derived from console and portable game sales.

Notably, NPD does not track game sales through nontraditional channels such as digital distribution, which would include Valve's popular PC download service Steam. In addition, November 2008 saw unusually high PC game revenues thanks to the record-setting launch of World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King, which sold 2.8 million units worldwide in 24 hours.

In a second Twitter post, Frazier also laid out the most lucrative franchises in 2009 through November. Thanks in large part to Modern Warfare 2's record-setting debut, the Call of Duty franchise topped Frazier's list. Activision's shooter franchise has also continued to see strong sales from the Treyarch-developed World at War. In June, the publisher said the game had sold 11 million units since its November 2008 launch.

Wii Fit ranked second in Frazier's list. The Balance Board-equipped fitness simulator has been a mainstay on NPD's monthly accounting since its May 2008 launch. Wii Fit Plus, launched in October 2009, has seen similar success, placing seventh on November's sales chart with 679,000 units sold. Nintendo's Mario Bros. franchise came in third, bolstered by the 1.39 million-unit debut of New Super Mario Bros. in November as well as Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story's 258,100-unit debut on the DS in September.

The rhythm game franchise has struggled this year, but the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises still managed a respective fourth and fifth on Frazier's list. New additions to Activision's rhythm franchise this year include Guitar Hero 5, Guitar Hero: Metallica, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits, Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits, and offshoots such as DJ Hero and Band Hero. Lego Rock Band and The Beatles: Rock Band represent the two major releases from MTV Games' rhythm game series this year.

Top 5 franchises year-to-date through November by dollar sales
1) Call of Duty
2) Wii Fit
3) Mario Bros.
4) Guitar Hero
5) Rock Band

Written By

Want the latest news about Lego Rock Band?

Lego Rock Band

Lego Rock Band

Follow

Discussion

167 comments
Microwin
Microwin

@darkan45 congratulations on losing your own credibility by denying everything you quoted on this exact same forum posts. Are you a politician? Cuz you sound like one, you talk a load of crap then deny it a second later. You even remind me of Glenn Beck, he makes dumb comments and seconds later, he denies it all.

dakan45
dakan45

@ BloodMist i completly agree with you, crysis was all graphics an a cutting edge engine. But the gameplay was utter unpoilished and the enviroments wre pretty close minded in comparison with far cry, also the ai is the weirdest i ever seen. The ai is full og bugs and it completly fails to react like humans do!!

dakan45
dakan45

@Microwin Congratulations on waking up and telling me the eaxct same things i knew and i had said countless of times. Also i made no mention of "Pc is dead", its you who propably got confused and made those riddiculous claims. Long story short, you replyied to my message with info someone else said and not me. Now who is talking crap? Me or you that you dont even know what the hell is going on with you? I swear the god by the moment you replied to me i completly lost credabitily because you replied to me on things i never said!!

Microwin
Microwin

@dakan45 "More and more people play on consoles, how the hell did you get the idea that more and more people go to pc gaming" when the hell did I say that more people go to pc gaming than console?? Console has always been the most popular, I NEVER said otherwise, the argument is that you tell me that PC is DEAD, which brings me to the actual point of the argument, which you said and I quote: "Also dont throw the pirate excuse" Pirating will ALWAYS be the #1 reason why PC doesn't sell as well, there are LOADS of people pirating, why don't you google for it and you'll see loads of posts from people pirating and articles talking about how there are more people pirating a game than actually buying it and sales are lost! If you actually knew ANYTHING about PC gaming, you would know it's a FACT that people pirate more than they buy, which is why sales are lost and they would've made up to even 5 times more money if people stop pirating, which they won't. Why do you think there are so many layoffs in gaming? No sales due to pirating! If you don't know that, then what the heck have you been doing since 92? Sucking on your thumb? And on top of that they mentioned how digital sales are not counted, then maybe next time you should also read the ENTIRE article before you talk so much crap.

lordkragoth
lordkragoth

@dc337: I concede to your point that contemporary console systems use POWERPC chips as opposed to Intel/AMD, but the distinction that you are making is nothing more than a red herring in this particular discourse. Unless you are purporting that console games' superiority is due to the inherent advantages of RISC over CISC, which would be an entirely different matter altogether. Just to clarify, I was not suggesting that console's innards are physically interchangeable with IBM PCs, but that their overall hardware design is not notably dissimilar. Furthermore, my advocacy for the IBM PC as a gaming platform does not preclude me from console gaming, as the countless hours that I have invested in Forza Motorsport, Gran Turismo, Final Fantasy, Gears of War, Metal Gear Solid, and innumerable others will attest.

dan101rayzor
dan101rayzor

How can you compare PC sales to Console sales when you don't include the digital sales from steam etc?

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

I think it's hilarious how the current state of the industry has pitted console users against PC users, especially since most players in either category double or triple-dip (I know I do). I'm sure Activisionward couldn't be happier. Honestly though, PC gamers aren't missing anything exclusive-wise in most cases, and this is a really silly argument. That aside, I like the fact that I can play a 10 year old gem like Fallout 1 then switch to L4D2, and Dragon Age on my PC, then load up GoW2 or SFIV on my 360, and sleep well at night knowing they both have their place.

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

X360 and PS3 users, just a bunch of idiots, they denied the fact that their console sucks, and lost in many ways compared to the PC, just ignorant and stupid people, reject the truth. :)

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

I'm loving MW2 on the amazing X360!! :D

acsam12304
acsam12304

who said PC gaming is going to die? HA! for me i like PC games move then console games. for the reson that PC games do look way better then a console game and can handle more power then a console. i own a PS3 and the thing is i get the PC versions of the games like assassins creed and far cry 2 for the reason that it looks better. there is a reason why crysis is on the PC. simply like this PC gaming is better then console gaming. im 20 and i use to play games on the PS2 all the time untill i gto older and games like Battle Field 2 and Battle Field 2142 came out for the PC. thats when i got into PC gaming. and plus PC gaming for some reason is more fun. i hardly use my PS3 that much i mostly play using my PC :D

lukedude2
lukedude2

@dcc Do u honestly think as a PC gamer im gonna miss those games? I'd rather chug down a bottle of bleach before I buy Army of Two! I'll take my World in Conflict and Counter Strike: Source over your Bayonetta and Dark Siders anyday

izmickey
izmickey

@Inconnux "Anyone who was stupid enough to buy CoD:MW2 for the PC deserves to play nothing but crappy console ports. PC gaming is doing just fine... but please people stop buying crappy console ports which just encourages developers to go cheap on the PC." I completely agree with your comment. The PC is great for gaming. I hate it how game developers just port games from the xbox360 to both the PC and PS3. Ported games are usually rushed, unpolished and neglected. MW2 is no different. Thank god i didnt buy the game....yea thumb me down for not purchasing MW2.

DKant
DKant

By the way, a typo in the 'article descriptor'....words floating below the headline, whatever they are called. It says sales from retail totaled to 1.46 'M'illion USD. Got a bit of a heart attack.

grove12345
grove12345

Hmm i would say console gamers are way more immature and young and stupid. Bunch of 14 yr old who started gaming 2 years ago. But as a gamer who has been gaming on PC since the 1980s, im actually really pissed that PC gamers cant see whats happening to PC gaming. All we are getting is ports of console games, and all we do is brag about how many subscribers are on WOW or how many people play Counter Strike or TF2. Nothing to brag about this year or the year before. SO to me PC gaming is dying. Wake up PC gamers, buy original titles, support the little guys. So here is a huge thread on how awesome PC gaming is. Man grow the heck up stop pretending to be PC elitist, worse than a bunch of kid console fanboys. Or maybe all these post are by a bunch of 14 yr old PC gaming fanboys?

BloodMist
BloodMist

Yeah...if you consider those games to be great, you got problems.

imprezawrx500
imprezawrx500

not steam sales = pc sales mean nothing. I buy 90% of my games through steam so no digital sales really means there are no real sales for pc games now pretty much every pc game is available through dd.

yeastori
yeastori

It does not matter because Uncharted 2 wins the GOTY ands thats the bottom line because I said so.

dc337
dc337

@lordkragoth who said consoles have pc hardware: Um no that isn't true, both consoles have custom powerpc cpus. The original xbox had off the shelf pc hardware but not this gen. Lots of people here saying that pc gaming isn't dying but 3 big hits in January on not going to pc: 1. Bayonetta 2. Dark Siders 3. Army of Two: 40th day I wouldn't say pc gaming is dying but it has seen better days. Unless you are into mmorpgs being a pc only gamer these days is a mistake. You'll miss out on too many great games.

guitarist1980
guitarist1980

@mr. teeney I dont know when the last big fighting game released on the pc besides street fighter but Fighting games atleast imo are designed for consoles. Getting drunk or stoned with your friends playing dead or alive is really fun.. but playing that game by yourself is not so fun like you would on a pc ( not including internet vs ) I would also say they have 3rd person action games like devil may cry in there corner as well as 3rd Person Shooters like Gears of War or Red Faction. Besides some Nintendo side scrolling games and certain puzzle games I would rather play everything else on a pc because of mouse and keyboard controls and superb graphics.

afrosud12
afrosud12

all games are more fun on a PC, even racing games, and if you have a 360 as well even better, because you can use your 360 controllers and paripherals to play the superior PC games :D

FrankTheFrank
FrankTheFrank

@Smarties, Protip: Hackers is just an excuse of other people beating your ass with skill.

wudarbassist83
wudarbassist83

@ Bodboy466 You are completely right with the whole experience of getting a new console and how great it is to know you can run a game no problem. But what I and many other PC gamers love about playing on PC is modding and user content. You can take the big selling games on console and see that for a year or so they'll be real active and then after that there won't even be a quarter of the people that played. Look at all the people still playing Counter Strike, Starcraft and Warcraft 3. Hell, with the success of DotA companies creates Demi God and Heroes of Newerth. Modding and user created content can keep you from having to upgrade you PC and add value and hours of gameplay to a game.

Bodboy466
Bodboy466

@ lordkragoth I'm afraid you do not understand what the issue truly is. You may be alright rebuilding, upgrading and tuning that PC year after year, but I'd prefer to be able look at the games and KNOW that I WILL be able to play those games simply by looking at the console logo. No worries about graphics cards, sound drivers, proper equipment, etc. I have a PS3, ergo, I can play Uncharted 2. Nothing more. Homogeneity can be a good thing, because you don't have to worry about finding someone on "your level." Every PS3 is the same. There is no hardware advantage. You also don't have people changing lines of game code so that they get unfair advantages. How the hell is a person with no such knowledge supposed to keep up? This way, in a sense, I'm not dealing with a software disadvantage either. Perhaps just as important is the library. The few games not available to me are irrelevant, at least in my case, but the PC may never see many of the titles I can get my hands on. And have you ever gotten a new console? It's unbelievably exciting. With their "Limited [but different] OS", they can make even the most mundane things seem fresh, whereas you will always go to your little Start menu or, even more boring, use a shortcut. In this sense, I'm paying for a new experience. The way I see it, PCs are for work, not play. Ha, seems I've turned this into a Wall of Text. Oh, well.

lordkragoth
lordkragoth

Just to clarify, a console is essentially PC hardware with a limited OS. I suppose that a console gamer would rather purchase a Dell than build their own PC, even @ a price premium? I am not incensed @ the console gamers' ignorance; just as the Halo faithful migrated to CODMW, perhaps they will someday come to realize that the perceived differences between consoles and PCs are largely spurious.

Revan_911
Revan_911

Yeah the numbers are pretty much pointless without digital sales.

ClayMeow
ClayMeow

Until Steam and other digital distributors disclose their sales figures, all sales analysis is completely pointless. And that's not even counting the subscription fees for MMOs.

nohabs
nohabs

I'm in the wrong business

darkSIDEechoes
darkSIDEechoes

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

RyuRanVII
RyuRanVII

And it's only retail. All games but Dragon Age Collector's Edition I bought through digital distribution this year.

Land-0-Funk
Land-0-Funk

I was an avid PC gamer during the PSX/N64 days and still am. The control style and being closer to a monitor just makes for a more immersive experience compared to sitting on a couch with a controller. If its on the PC..I usually buy it first.

MrSmarties
MrSmarties

I remeber playing on a pc for all the fps..till it got really outdated and i got a ps3. I miss PC, counter-strikes source was a blast but i remember stopping due to the hackers and my crappy internet on my pc. PC gaming will never die because alll of the rpgs out there. I believe all the mmorpgs are keeping it alive.

jgb2292
jgb2292

@df-1 by ending the 2nd hand market it's forcing people into crime .. why pay $60 to rent a game when you can steal it for ever.

df-1
df-1

@jgb2292 pirates exist on X360, PSP, PC, WII,NDS and many more... you also say its killing the market but you say pc gaming will never die.. O_o? on steam and other forms of digital distribution there is no method of re-selling pre-owned games. Also, buying games pre-owned (non digital distributed) is pretty much dead because of CD keys, people are afraid that the previous owner will still use the key/link it to their account.

BloodMist
BloodMist

Crysis, BTW, is a perfect example of all style, zero substance.They made a GREAT graphics engine, but forgot to add important things like, interesting environments, or AI that isn't stupid as hell.

snake289
snake289

To all the console fanboys and trolls that say PC gaming is dying, Have you heard of a little program called Steam?

jgb2292
jgb2292

the pc will never die .. gamers who use bit-torrent and other ways to gets there games should be either by 1. killed murdered 2. cut off the Internet 3. kicked with a mother virus witch knackers there computer for ever Do you people remember when they was blaming cryteck for making crysis power hungry .. claimed to be the most pirated game ever because of it ? it was the drm issue & thats the truth . ANY WAY WHAT THE PUBLISHERS SAY IS KILLING THE MARKET IS PER-OWNED GAMES .seriously what are they smoking . quote "we estimate each game sold can be resold up-to twenty times each time no money goes to them. however there is a chance someone who gets a pirated copy will one day buy a retail copy" . THAT MY FRIENDS IS WHAT IS KILLING THE PC MARKET.. so now wonder on this for a moment please . if there is to be download only in the future on any platform console or computer you will never be able to sell them on or lend them to a friend EVER AGAIN .. sorry rant over

df-1
df-1

@frankblack789 Think about it logically. If a company gets no $$ from taking a lot of time/$$ developing a game to work on PC, would they continue to make games on PC's? no. As you said there are GREAT games for it, therefore they are making money and its still going. I have many games bought from steam (assassins creed, crysis warhead, orange box,etc) and i think that a lot of sales are coming from online stores nowadays like Direct2drive, steam, even EA has direct download i believe.

BloodMist
BloodMist

They've been saying that for at least 15 years.Hasn't died yet.True quality, on the other hand...well, that's on it's last legs.Welcome to the world of being more popular than movies.

Reiken37
Reiken37

Most Pcers use Steam at least a few times, but either way, I think that 1-5 list is pretty accurate, it's funny how Nintendos Wii Fit launched at the release of the Wii is still striving with not much change. If WoW had released the new expansion this month it'd be 1st though.

frankblack789
frankblack789

@ df-1 although there are still GREAT games for the pc, software sales for it amounted to about 3.5% of the November monthly total, while console software achieved 96.5% of the monthly total. even you have to admit that those aren't very good odds.

df-1
df-1

To all the idiots saying PC gaming is dying/trash know this. We've got Crysis series, STALKER series, WOW, sims, starcraft 2, diablo 3, better version of Dragon age, the list is limitless... PC gaming will NEVER die because Nvidia/AMD(ati) need it to live. They need to keep making upgrades, shipping GPU's and putting a low-cost GPU on the consoles every generation. PC gaming DOESN'T cost a lot. you can go plug a 8800GT (~ $50 used) straight into your home/internet PC with a decent dual core and 2gb+ ram (usually have those if bought in the last 2.5yrs) and run everything medium-high so please, for the people who have been saying "ITS GONNNA DIE" for ~7years now please stop, your making yourselfs look retarded.

BloodMist
BloodMist

Kinda my point.People are full of absurd notions about what PC gaming truly is.And uh, heh...dude, i'm a PC gamer.My HDTV only gets used as an excellent video player. ;)

Hot_Potato
Hot_Potato

BloodMist, the "constantly upgrading"...? I haven't upgraded my PC in 4 years and it still runs all games on high settings at a higher resolution than your HDTV.

monson21502
monson21502

so i guess its not true that pc gamers dont like stupid console fps games:wink:

Puckhog04
Puckhog04

PC games own and always will. I still prefer retail however. I don't think there's any way for them to ever phase out retail PC game sales. I can see alot going to Digital such as Steam and D2D though. But I do believe retail will always be there. Anyway, good month.

BloodMist
BloodMist

LOL...the constant, upgrading.i suppose you still have a Super Nintendo, lest you be a hypocrite?

flashn00b
flashn00b

I hope online shopping doesn't completely replace PC game shelves.