October US retail sales post rare climb - NPD

Battlefield 3, Batman: Arkham City lead industry to 1% sales growth last month as revenues reach $1.08 billion.

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The game industry has strung together five consecutive months of year-over-year losses at retail in the US, but that streak has ended in October. Today, The NPD Group reported a modest 1 percent climb in total game-industry sales, as console, portable, and PC software; games hardware; and accessories combined to sell $1.08 billion in the US at retail.

Battlefield 3 launched a successful campaign at retail.
Battlefield 3 launched a successful campaign at retail.

The vast majority of the industry's revenues came via software sales, which were up 1 percent year-over-year to $649.5 million. Leading this category was EA's heavily hyped Battlefield 3, which sold 2 million units at retail in the US. However, EA noted that digital sales for the PC edition of the game were likely significant, given the franchise's strong Windows heritage. The publisher previously announced first-week sales of 5 million units worldwide.

In a close second was Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's Batman Arkham City, which sold 1.5 million units across the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Other top new releases for the month included NBA 2K12, Rage, Just Dance 3, Dark Souls, and Forza 4.

The Xbox 360 maintained its lead position in the console market, with Microsoft announcing that the console sold 393,000 units during the month Xbox 360 sales were up 21 percent year-over-year. Microsoft also noted that its console was the only one to post double-digit sales growth in the US during the period.

Nintendo trumpeted its hardware's performance during the month as well. 3DS sales during the month stood at more than 250,000 units, while the Wii sold nearly 250,000 systems and the DS family of handhelds moved 180,000 units.

Sony did not indicate hardware sales figures in its own post-NPD note.

OCTOBER 2011 US GAME SALES
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $1.08 billion (1%)
Total non-PC retail sales: $1.05 billion (3%)
Non-PC hardware: $295.6 million (6%)
Non-PC software: $621.3 million (3%)
Accessories: $135.9 million (-5%)
Total software: $649.5 million (1%)

TOP 10 GAMES FOR OCTOBER 2011
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Battlefield 3 (X360, PS3, PC) - EA
2. Batman: Arkham City (X360, PS3) - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
3. NBA 2K12 (X360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PS2, PC) - 2K Games
4. Rage (X360, PS3, PC) - Bethesda Studios
5. Just Dance 3 (Wii, X360) - Ubisoft
6. Dark Souls (PS3, X360) - Namco Bandai
7. Madden NFL 12 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP) - EA
8. Forza Motorsport 4 (X360) - Microsoft Game Studios
9. Gears of War 3 (X360) - Microsoft Game Studios
10. FIFA Soccer 12 (X360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2, 3DS) - EA

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