While many US gamers' Thanksgivings were marked by abject gluttony, no amount of gravy-drenched turkey with piles of stuffing could possibly match the traditional consumer overindulgence of the morning after. That day, known as Black Friday to many poor souls in the retail workplace, is marked by heavily marked-down specials meant to draw tremendous crowds to stores as the holiday shopping season begins in earnest.
This year the effects of Black Friday were clearly visible on the NPD's PC game charts. While the lineup of titles in the top 10 (based on units sold) didn't raise many flags--Electronic Arts' The Sims 2: Pets expansion pack remained perched at number one just like the week before, and the week before that--the average selling price of those games was more interesting.
In its second week in stores, Sega's Medieval II: Total War plummeted from the second spot to the 10th spot, but it also was the only resident of the top 10 with an average selling price of $50. The next most expensive offering on the charts was Atari's Neverwinter Nights 2 in fifth place, with an average selling price of $31. Neverwinter Nights 2 still retails for $50 in many stores. Also placing on the charts in part thanks to price slashing were Electronic Arts' Battlefield 2142 (second place, ASP $29), Microsoft Flight Simulator X (sixth place, ASP $29), and THQ's Company of Heroes (eighth place, ASP $24).
The discounts were by no means limited to AAA titles. Buena Vista Games' budget TV tie-in Desperate Housewives jumped into the fourth spot on the charts with an ASP of $9, beaten out for number three by Mumbo Jumbo's Bejeweled 2 and its $7 ASP.