NPD: Black Ops II January's best-selling title in US

Research group reports latest Call of Duty top title during five-week reporting period; total sales for month fall 13 percent on adjusted basis.

The NPD Group today reported United States industry sales for January 2013, revealing Call of Duty: Black Ops II has remained the best-selling title in the region since launch in January. Rounding out the top five titles for the month were sequels Far Cry 3, Just Dance 4, NBA 2K13, and Madden NFL 13.

The January 2013 reporting period was actually five weeks instead of four due to the NPD Group's adherence to the National Retail Federation calendar. This extra week is a consequence of the NPD Group's 4-5-4 retail calendar and occurs only once every five or six years. As a result of including the "Leap Week," sales are inflated to a degree. Adjusted sales are in the chart below.

Total sales for January jumped 9 percent on a five-week basis to $834.7 million, though when "corrected," sales actually dropped 13 percent to $667.6 million. According to NPD analyst Liam Callahan, this figure only truly represents 50 percent of total spend when other revenue streams are factored in.

"These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50 percent of the total consumer spend on games," he said. "When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in January such as used and rentals at $141 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps, and the consumer spend on social network games at $382 million, we would estimate the total consumer spend in January to be over $1.3 billion."

Hardware sales fell 17 percent on an adjusted basis to $164 million during the period and were led by Microsoft's Xbox 360, which sold 281,000 units and drove $338 million during the month. Sony and Nintendo have not announced hardware sales for the month.

As for software, this category dove 19 percent on an adjusted basis for January. Far Cry 3's second place performance during the month marked the first time since January 2002 (Final Fantasy X) that a December launch ranked second in the following January, Callahan said.

In addition, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch missed the top 10 chart by just one spot, and actually ranked seventh on an individual SKU basis.

"While the number of new SKUs was relatively consistent for January 2013 compared to January 2012, performance of new SKUs this year versus last was six times as high, lifted by the success of titles like DmC: Devil May Cry and Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch," Callahan said.

Accessories sales for January 2013 rose 4 percent on a normalized basis to $205 million and saw point and subscription card revenue rise.

"January 2013 marked the best January for Point and Subscription Cards on record, another indication of the health of spending on digital content and services and how retailers can participate," Callahan said.

ADJUSTED JANUARY US GAME SALES (December 30, 2012-February 2, 2013)
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES

Total retail sales: $667.76 million (-13%)
Non-PC hardware: $164 million (-17%)
Accessories: $205.28 million (4%)
Total software: $314.32 million (-19%)

TOP 10 GAMES FOR JANUARY 2013

Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (X360, PS3, Wii U, PC) - Activision Blizzard
2. Far Cry 3 (X360, PS3, PC) - Ubisoft
3. Just Dance 4 (Wii, X360, PS3, Wii U) - Ubisoft
4. NBA 2K13 (X360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
5. Madden NFL 13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, Wii U) - Electronic Arts
6. DmC: Devil May Cry (PS3, X360) - Capcom
7. Halo 4 (X360) - Microsoft
8. Assassin's Creed III (X360, PS3, Wii U, PC) - Ubisoft
9. Skylanders Giants (Wii, X360, PS3, 3DS, Wii U) - Activision Blizzard
10. FIFA Soccer 13 (PS3, X360, PS Vita, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, PSP) - Electronic Arts

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Discussion

91 comments
KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

as much as im sick and tired of cod games, i have to admit that this is the most hilarious game commercial ive ever seen. its got the guy who played the russian cosmonaut in armageddon in it, cant remember his name right off the top of my head.

MaskRisen
MaskRisen

It's sad how this list is all sequels. It is funny how accessories rose 4%.  I'd like to think it's all the kids raging in COD throwing their controllers in the wall :).

woainuo5
woainuo5

i have no idea where is the code

slefo29
slefo29

Excluding Far Cry 3, I wouldn't be interested in playing any of those games. (I'll play a new football game when EA loses its license.)

beuneus12
beuneus12

COD can you just die already?

Millard11
Millard11

In a double dip recession companies are going to release what sells in order to keep their doors open. Gaming is hit just as hard as every other type of company in this country. When everyone is back on track moneywise we will see the release of new IPs. If you are thirsty for them check out the Indie game scene.

botsio
botsio

nice to see dmc in there wasn't a total disaster after all!

kickingcarpet
kickingcarpet

is everybody playing campaign/story mode? Well I get online during prime-time it seems sort of empty compared to games like world of warcraft. I mean yeah i'm not expecitng 50 million players but a little more then 150k if its the top selling game right now, especially sense its a MP game primarily.

Fallout_red
Fallout_red

According to the Gamasutra and other sources, the Wii U sales is estimated to be around 55k for this 5 week month which is NOT good. Hopefully they either go for the price drop or release Wonderful 101 and Wind Waker HD sooner.

Uruca
Uruca

poor Ni No Kuni.... =(

MatrixGamer78
MatrixGamer78

Congratulation ActivisionBlizzard, Microsoft, and Capcom. I am proud of u all but i am a bit desperate to miss Ninokuni in topten and hope it willbe there in feb list..

tannertehpianis
tannertehpianis

How can we, as consumers, hate on developers and publishers for electing to create sequels over new IPs? How can we, when every single title on the top 10 list for January is either a sequel, reboot, or part of an existing franchise? As developing AAA titles becomes more and more expensive, it naturally follows that companies would want to stick with the safer, more reliable product instead of risking millions of dollars in a new IP that, even if successful, has little chance of selling as well as established franchises? Just look at Ni no Kuni--universally acclaimed, made by a well-known developer, Level-5 and a beloved company, Studio Ghibli--and it fails to crack the top 10. It's all well and good to rag on Activision and EA for not innovating enough and 'selling out', but ultimately, companies will stop making sequels once consumers stop buying them.

DeadLight2080
DeadLight2080

I hate all Activision and EA games ...have Ubi's bestsellers and enjoying them ... I bought DMC but I think that sucks :(

wexorian
wexorian

NPD report USA gamers Love wasting money!

steelmouth
steelmouth

damn i hate COD, cant it just take a break and let other developers make some money too, you cant have tha cake all to your self, you just cant do that COD

Sardinar
Sardinar

A proud owner of none of these games.

botsio
botsio

@InFI_Chronos are u kidding me then why put the video up for all to see!give me a worthy opponent to this game name one!that has the consistency of COD!

Rhettdeal49
Rhettdeal49

@InFI_Chronos Again, what makes this better than the millions of other montages made by tweens like yourself. Less spamming, more playing good games.

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

@kickingcarpet what time is this "prime time"? also are you sure you arent looking at people in game type?

botsio
botsio

@queuing_for_PS4 DUDE WAT MAKES U SMARTER THAN US!WATCH UR WORDS!OR ELSE U WILL BE LAUGHING AT THE WRONG SIDE OF UR FACE!

wexorian
wexorian

@queuing_for_PS4 so you say that you are only smart and other gamers are stupid , You think too high about yourself.

JusXice
JusXice

@tannertehpianis You just answered your own question, I don't understand why gamers are so consider about sells it like they're worried if the sells are bad and their favorite game will crash and burn. As a gamer you should not care about sells and 10 charts just be proud of what you buy and enjoy the quality of the game you are supporting. As for Activision and EA they're successful companies and they are doing something right... business is all about deception and they are good at it. 

botsio
botsio

@tannertehpianis ITS NOT EASY TO COME OUT WITH NEW IPS!TAKE REMEMBER ME FOR INSTANCE!IT INTERESTS ME BUT I AM STILL A BIT SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE GAME IN ITS ENTIRETY!ITS A RISK NOT EASY TO TAKE!

GamerOuTLaWz
GamerOuTLaWz

@tannertehpianis  Maybe if the game didnt look and sound like a 5 years old saturday morning cartoon it would sell more.  On another note, this country is a fucking disgrace to humanity,first want to ban violent games,then you see a fucking Call o' doodie game is still the terrible top seller in that gun-blazing retards of a country.

Sardinar
Sardinar

@tannertehpianis Because most of these developers can afford to take the risk, but choose not to. The resulting greed cannot be justified. 

Casual gaming consumers will not stop buying sequels for the same reason developers won't stop making them - to prevent the risk of disappointment for trying something new that requires an investment of time and effort to understand and enjoy.

thequickshooter
thequickshooter

@wexorian who ever buys COD is not a gamer 

he's a sucker, to a shitty company who rehases the game series and charges a fortune just for DLC

GamerOuTLaWz
GamerOuTLaWz

@InFI_Chronos Hey look,a vid of a nerd who believes hes good at a game where guns look like made of cardboard,sound like a pee shooter and have the same feeling as holding a hair-dryer. Hope you enjoy wasting your life on this rehashed piece of shit for braindeads.

Ferg1213
Ferg1213

@Sardinar Far Cry 3 is a great game and you must be extremely ignorant to look past it just because it's sold well.

Bayonetta2013
Bayonetta2013

@Sardinar Couldn't have said it better myself. 

It's so depressing to see greater games be overlooked by the continued COD series...which, at this point, has descended into a bit of an embarrassment. 

InFI_Chronos
InFI_Chronos

@botsio @InFI_Chronos Ummm well to be honest this isn't even my best video.  I have an epic video of me playing Hello Kitty Playland I just don't think you are quite ready to see it yet.

InFI_Chronos
InFI_Chronos

@Rhettdeal49 I'm sorry but do you think that just because YOU think this game sucks that all the others that play it agree with you?  What makes you think that you of all people can determine if a game is good or bad? No one so stfu and quit thinking that only your opinion matters 

botsio
botsio

@queuing_for_PS4 @Fallout_red U ARE MISTAKEN!WII BLAZES THE TRAIL THE REST FOLLOW UP!NINTENDO CHOOSES ONE STEP AT A TIME I LIKE THAT APPROACH!I JUST WAITING FOR THE DAY NINTENDO WILL RELEASE THE HARDWARE TO SHUT U HATERS UP!

Hurvl
Hurvl

@wexorian @queuing_for_PS4 Basing intelligence on what games you buy really says a lot about his definition of intelligence as well. 

Assassin's Creed 3 and Far Cry 3 are going well, despite being a few months old, so Ubisoft will be happy. Also a bit fun to see DmC doing so well, despite people bashing it, just shows how few they are and thus how little influence their hatred has.

Millard11
Millard11

@thequickshooter @wexorian Why wouldn't they keep rehashing the same game if people keep buying it?

When they see the numbers they are getting from sales and the amount of people playing are as high as they are they continue to pump them out. They already have another COD game in the works to release for nest year. 

When these numbers finally drop low enough they will release a new IP until then Activision will keep pumping them out.

InFI_Chronos
InFI_Chronos

@GamerOuTLaWz I don't think you have room to call someone a nerd when your sitting on a gamespot news article but nice try.  You really stuck it to me there

GamerOuTLaWz
GamerOuTLaWz

@Ferg1213 @Sardinar It was great,but so easy on the hardest difficulty and gets really boring. Also,on PC theres seriously no point at looking for unlockables/secrets with that fucking Uplay garbage where no other games will ever support that crap and achievements for that crap are worthless ( even if saying this is kinda ironic since achievements are totally worthless on anything,I still like them for steam/GFWL)