NPD: Canada passes C$1B in game sales

Northern country broaches billion-dollar milestone as November's haul grows by nearly 42 percent to C$209 million.

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November traditionally goes on record as one of the biggest months at retail for the gaming industry, but few expected the massive $2.63 billion in total income the industry generated in the US for the month, as revealed by the industry-tracking NPD Group yesterday. In the US, the gaming sector was up a staggering 52 percent for the month and outperforming last year's total accrual, even without factoring in December, which is typically the single most lucrative month for the industry.

The US tally notwithstanding, the Great White North posted impressive gains in its own right for the month of November, according to NPD. For the month that was, Canadian consumers dumped C$209.1 million ($205.6 million) into software, hardware, and accessories, an increase of nearly 42 percent over the same month in 2006. The month's revenue pushes Canada's year-to-date total past the C$1 billion milestone to C$1.13 billion ($1.11 billion), with sales up nearly 65 percent compared to the same period of time last year.

Though a far cry from the 1.53 million DSs sold in the US during the same period, approximately 120,000 units of Nintendo's popular handheld were gobbled up by Canadians in November, leading the hardware sales chart. The DS's closest competition was the Nintendo Wii, which found its way into more than 82,000 homes. From there, it was a much tighter race, with the Xbox 360 shifting about 59,000 units for the month and the PlayStation 3 closely following with nearly 51,000. Slightly outperforming the stalwart PlayStation 2's approximately 30,000 units was the PlayStation Portable, with about 33,000 systems sold.

On the software front, Canadian gamers' tastes nearly mirror those held by their brethren to the South. The top-selling game for the month was Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii, with roughly 94,000 units sold. Activision secured the rest of the top three, with the PS2 version of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock taking second with nearly 82,000 bundled packages sold, and more than 78,000 copies of the Xbox 360 version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare taking to the streets. Activision scored two more slots in the top 10, with the Xbox 360 version of Guitar Hero III landing in the sixth slot at nearly 32,000 units sold, and the PS3 version of Call of Duty 4 scoring seventh at more than 30,000 units.

Assassin's Creed, which Ubisoft now anticipates will sell 5 million units worldwide by the end of its fiscal year 2008, was the fourth and ninth best-seller in Canada for the month, shifting more than 60,000 units on the Xbox 360 and an additional 26,000 copies on the PS3. Wii Play (with Wii Remote), a regular on software charts across the globe, took the fifth slot for the month, selling approximately 51,000 units. Xbox 360 exclusives rounded out the Canadian top 10 software chart, with BioWare's sci-fi role-playing game Mass Effect selling more than 30,000 and ranking seventh, and Bungie's megahit shooter Halo 3 placing 10th, having sold nearly 26,000 units.

CANADIAN GAME HARDWARE SALES, NOVEMBER 2007
Nintendo DS -- 120,000
Nintendo Wii -- 82,000
Xbox 360 -- 59,000
PlayStation 3 -- 51,000
PlayStation Portable -- 33,000
PlayStation 2 -- 30,000

TOP 10 GAME SOFTWARE TITLES, NOVEMBER 2007
1) Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) - Nintendo - 94,000
2) Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock W/Guitar (PS2) - Activision - 82,000
3) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (X360) - Activision - 78,000
4) Assassin's Creed (X360) - Ubisoft - 60,000
5) Wii Play W/Remote (Wii) - Nintendo - 51,000
6) Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock W/ Wireless Guitar (X360) - Activision - 32,000
7) Mass Effect (X360) - Microsoft - 30,000
8) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (PS3) - Activision - 30,000
9) Assassin's Creed (PS3) - Ubisoft - 26,000
10) Halo 3 (X360) - Microsoft - 26,000

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