Research group NPDTechworld has today released a report based on its PC game sales data for 2002, which shows a small but significant decline in the volume of PC game sales at the same time as the total PC game revenue is slightly up. Although US retail sales of PC games during the first 10 months of 2002 reached $956 million compared with $945 million for the same period in 2001, the actual number of games sold fell from 44.4 million in 2001 to 41.6 million this year.
According to NPD, the increase in revenue is largely due to the increased selling prices of some best-selling games, notably Warcraft III and Neverwinter Nights, which have both retailed for over $50. The fairly significant 6.2 percent drop in actual PC game sales is attributed to increased competition from game consoles.
One area of PC game sales that definitely hasn't been in decline in 2002 is expansion packs, sales of which have increased by around 0.4 million units to 3.1 million. This figure represents some 7.5 percent of all PC game sales in the first 10 months of 2002, compared to 6.2 percent in 2001. Much of this increase comes from the continued success of Electronic Arts' The Sims series, which accounts for all three of the expansion packs on this year's list of the top-10 best-selling PC games.
Here's a list of the best-selling PC games for January through October:
Rank / Title / Publisher / Average Price
1 / The Sims: Vacation / Electronic Arts / $29
2 / Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos / Vivendi Universal / $57
3 / The Sims / Electronic Arts / $42
4 / Medal of Honor: Allied Assault / Electronic Arts / $45
5 / The Sims: Hot Date / Electronic Arts / $29
6 / Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Electronic Arts / $27
7 / RollerCoaster Tycoon / Infogrames / $19
8 / The Sims: Unleashed / Electronic Arts . $29
9 / Neverwinter Nights / Infogrames / $54
10 / Zoo Tycoon / Microsoft / $27