US game sales down 5%, Black Ops tops again - NPD

Sinking hardware, software sales send overall stateside revenues sliding; Just Dance 2, Dead Space 2, Little Big Planet 2, Zumba Fitness make top 10.

Following months of sales declines in 2010, the US game industry started 2011 with…another month of sales declines. According to NPD figures released today, overall sales of PC games, non-PC games, hardware, and accessories sank 5 percent during the January reporting period, going from $1.22 billion to $1.16 billion.

Of the various sectors, hardware sank the most, falling 8 percent to $324 million. The only company to release sales figures was Microsoft, which reported that 381,000 Xbox 360s were sold during the month, a 15 percent year-on-year increase. Neither Sony nor Nintendo issued sales figures for their platforms as of press time.

Call of Duty: Black Ops was the top title in the US once again in January.

In terms of software, combined PC and non-PC games totaled $603.1 million, down 6 percent from $644.9 million in January 2010. The top game for the month was once again Call of Duty: Black Ops, followed by a repeat appearance from 2010 favorite Just Dance 2. Both beat off a strong debut from Dead Space 2, which shipped 2 million units worldwide just weeks after its release.

In fourth place was another debut, Little Big Planet 2, followed by the workout game Zumba Fitness: Join the Party. NBA 2K11 returned to dunk sixth place, followed by fellow holdover Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood in seventh. Kinect favorite Dance Central sashayed into eighth place, while another dance title, the double-platinum Michael Jackson The Experience, moonwalked into ninth. NPD's top 10 was rounded out by the massively multiplayer title DC Universe Online.

The sole bright spot in today's NPD figures was accessories, which includes sales of Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's PlayStation Move. The two motion-sensing systems helped sales in the category increase 6 percent from $222.8 million to $235.1 million year-over-year.

JANUARY 2011 US GAME SALES
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $1.16 billion (-5%)
Non-PC hardware: $324.0 million (-8%)
Total software: $603.1 million (-6%)
Non-PC software: $576.0 million (-5%)
Accessories: $235.1 million (+6%)

TOP 10 GAMES
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, WII, NDS, PC) - Activision
2. Just Dance 2 (WII) - Ubisoft
3. Dead Space 2 (360, PS3, PC) - Electronic Arts
4. Little Big Planet 2 (PS3) - Sony
5. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (WII, 360, PS3) - Majesco
6. NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, PSP, WII, PS2, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
7. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (360, PS3) - Ubisoft
8. Dance Central (360) - MTV Games
9. Michael Jackson The Experience (WII, DS, PSP) - Ubisoft
10. DC Universe Online (PS3, PC) - Sony

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184 comments
calum1984
calum1984

just to be clear that was me having a dig at the effect having a justin bieber for the gaming industry is having......

calum1984
calum1984

anyone else see the irony of the title of this......lol us sales drop 5% whilst black ops gets top spot again......hmmm i may see a pattern emerging :P

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

@ Pixeladdict I also have always had consoles; I can remember programming simple games from magazines articles when I was young on my Atari 400 in Basic. I still think that in terms of gameplay, the industry has regressed comparatively from where it was during the SNES generation. My Wii and 360 get plenty of use today, sound system and LED TV and all. Consoles have their place, but it's time for their communities to ask for more. Stating everything is about the experience puts the value of the game into a vague black box that is entirely subjective from person to person. What is important to me isn't important to you, and vice-versa; in my mind the things that I listed are the cornerstone of my "experience." In a platform as regulated as consoles, a situation arises where you are forced to accept certain nuances that are integral to that system, and in some situations they might not agree with your experience. I simply want there to be more options that allow you to bend the console around your personal definition of this. I'm glad that you enjoy consoles; I do too and appreciate that several genres are more suited for them (Fighters, platformers, etc.). I still want more, and I want the console developers to do more than they are now.

thingta42
thingta42

I haven't touched COD ever since MW2, and i don't plan on doing so again.

AJAM1
AJAM1

Gaming isnt going anywhere, in fact I fully guarantee that MOVIES will go before video games, I mean have u seen trailers lately lol?

Drakkengoth
Drakkengoth

damn they r making so much money, and still charging up the ass for dlc, ms point cards, gold memberships & accessories. It's only just getting worse in canada thanks to our HST (Harper Sodomy Tax). :/

cyforces
cyforces

I strongly agree with you @Tharkun89 tryarch work never compared with infinity ward. Cod5 was not so popular and black ops too.People are still playing cod2 , cod4 and mw2

Tharkun89
Tharkun89

NOONE expected the Call of Duty franchise to get so big. I remember when CoD 4 was coming out and i was excited (since i had been playing CoD forever) and noone knew what the hell i was talking about. Using the original call of duty formula and putting it in a modern setting was an amazing concept, especially since WWII has been done way too many times. In my opinion, Infinity Ward should dbe the ONLY developer of the Call of Duty franchise. Tryarch, though inventive, is not as high quality and just makes second rate games. If Infinity Ward is the only developer then you only have 1 CoD every other year. Not oversaturating the industry like sports games are. I think thats the key to keeping call of duty alive, making it special again, not yearly. CoD wont go down anytime soon no matter how much you might want it to you sickos.

DanteDelacoix
DanteDelacoix

I remember the good ol days where kids werent begging mummy and daddy for COD....memories.....

conkerratchet
conkerratchet

Man...call of duty is soo overrated. GO SACKBOY, KICK HIS BUTT.

blackace
blackace

@seanssss xbox360: bargain bin/Walmart/The Wiggles ps3: designer rack/specialty shop/24 staring Kiefer Sutherland Xbox360 is the first stage Ps3 is the final stage Most owners of the xbox360 want a ps3 especially those with a red ringed xbox360 or ones with other constant troubles. Ps3: Easy to fix on your own Xbox360: Part broke, replace it $$ This is just my opinion with factual information. I play both Microsoft and Sony products and I like them both THE SAME.... I lied I like PS3 better. This will be Call Of Dutys LAST YEAR on the top. They can't compete with themselves, Avtivision does not have enough brain power to go further. True story. If you would like to bet me send me an email: sean@latupro.com ********************************************************** What!?!? Do I sense another clueless PS3 fanatic? I own both systems as well and easily play my XBox 360 more then my PS3. I have over 100 games for my XBox 360 and about 25 for my PS3. Only thing buy for my PS3 are exclusives and a few Blu-Ray movies. I like just about everything better on the XBox 360. Better 3rd party games. Better online games, community and support. Better controller. More quality games. The exclusives are about even to me. I enjoy exclusives on both 360 and PS3. I enjoy more XBLA games then PSN games though.

blackace
blackace

Yawn.... This isn't telling me anything I want to know. I want to know how many copies are sold, not how many the industry made off of my money. The NPD numbers they provide are useless. I was surprised, but very happy to see NBA 2K11 up on the list. I have no idea what 2K Sports is going to do to improve this game. There are still a few bugs to be fixed and I would love to see quarterly boxscore stats added, but other then that, all they really need to do for next year is add the new rosters. They don't even need to release a new game at all. Give us a new rosters and a patch with all the updates and new features for $15 and I'll be very happy. If they decided to do another sports icon special, use Larry Bird or Magic Johnson (or both) for the next game. I would love to relive the Celtic -vs- Lakers games of the 80's and early 90's.

Tharkun89
Tharkun89

@seanssss really, are you kidding me? I own both and my ps3 gathers dust. i havent touched it since i beat god or war 3. Even games i can get on both consols i would still rather have on the 360. The online service is just that much better.

SoohooSan
SoohooSan

People needs to stop buying CoD and calling it the "best game ever". Its not even that good. Next Call of Duty game Activision going to try harder to put a 1 hour campaign and the same old multiplayer crap. I bet gamespot will give it a 9/10.

stevensu1
stevensu1

I wonder how much killzone 3 will sell.

seanssss
seanssss

haha you're right @guy below me who seems to be in a romantic crople with COD. (I made up crople) Sales this year would be horrible without COD being up top. But both sides to this discussion really have nothing to go on since we wouldnt know the outcome.. Could quantities of other games compete against the black ops totals? Who knows. All that I am saying is NEXT YEAR COD WILL NOT BE ON TOP. AND I said lets make some bets. So lets bet on it! Don't be a douche @cyberklown28 Make a bet. The point of making a bet is that either side could be wrong!

LondonGamer986
LondonGamer986

The only thing I like on Black Ops is the One in the chamber Wager Match.

CyberKlown28
CyberKlown28

1) Wonder how bad the game sales would have dropped without CoD's MASSIVE sales. 2) @ guy under me. People say Call of Duty will die out every year. They are wrong every year and it breaks it's own sales records. 7-0 so far. Lets go for 8, which may be MW3 as speculated.

seanssss
seanssss

xbox360: bargain bin/Walmart/The Wiggles ps3: designer rack/specialty shop/24 staring Kiefer Sutherland Xbox360 is the first stage Ps3 is the final stage Most owners of the xbox360 want a ps3 especially those with a red ringed xbox360 or ones with other constant troubles. Ps3: Easy to fix on your own Xbox360: Part broke, replace it $$ This is just my opinion with factual information. I play both Microsoft and Sony products and I like them both THE SAME.... I lied I like PS3 better. This will be Call Of Dutys LAST YEAR on the top. They can't compete with themselves, Avtivision does not have enough brain power to go further. True story. If you would like to bet me send me an email: sean@latupro.com

seanssss
seanssss

Yaaa Metaru Gia number 1!

tidusjeff
tidusjeff

@Bangerman15 "and why is LBP2 in the number 4 spot" US gamers in general don't like the PS3 as much as europe. You still have US PS3 owners buying exclusive titles, just not as much as 360 owners buying third party games.

Tharkun89
Tharkun89

@Kenshiro_Kenoh have you even played the original? Read what i said correctly, i said the "gameplay" is perfect. That has nothing to do with noob-tubes, claymores, or any other crap you just mentioned. Its the way the player flows through the actions as though they were there. The original is that and only that, and like i said, they build on that formula. And i have yet to play an online shooter without camping so thats just ignorance talking. I own both the 360 and PS3 and i returned Killzone for store credit because GOOD shooters like Halo and Call of Duty have given me such high standards in gameplay. And honestly, if you dont like noob-tubes, claymores, perks, or killstreaks...PLAY F***ING BAREBONES! They have an entire playlist for people like you who cant handle the game with everything it has to offer.

solidsnake7882
solidsnake7882

Sales down 5% big deal. Steam easily makes up for that. PC gaming and gaming in general is still very strong. Gaming isn't going anywhere.

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

lol, well this month will sell alot of games with KZ3 and MVC3... already bought MVC3 and then march with crysis2 and DA2 will sell alot too... theres actually a ton of good games coming out in next couple of months now that i think about it :o and why is LBP2 in the number 4 spot?? :( that game is pretty amazing with the creativeness you can do in it... it feels like its what LBP was truly meant to be from the start

wolvklaw
wolvklaw

Actually over the last few weeks, I have finally been getting caught up on games I have wanted now that they are priced right. Final Fantasy XIII, Transformers war for cybertron, Halo Reach, Marvel vs Capcom 3, paid off Dragon Age 2, Red dead redemption, Rock Band 3....etc etc. Except for DA2 and MVC3, all used though. Can't beat prices like $27 for reach at Gamefly, or $22 for RDR...

CaptainVictory
CaptainVictory

Well thank God Black Ops is still on top right? I mean heaven forbid the masses branch out and be an individual, that would almost be too much.

TylerLee420
TylerLee420

I don't think this means jack squat. There's a bunch of highly anticipated titles right around the corner for ALL platforms. Like myself, most gamers tend to be savvy around the time multiple games they want are about to be released for $60 a pop.

QBALL218
QBALL218

I LIKE BASEBALL !!!!!!!!!!!

QtrArt
QtrArt

most dead space 2 be top 1 :)

0Aragorn0
0Aragorn0

@salad10203 I am not sure if DL markets like steam are included in the report. Additionally, not all stores are represented in these figures or any used products...so it's not a 100% reflection of gaming economy.

Merex760
Merex760

The dudebros have spoken. Call of Duty will be milked some more!

FoxbatAlpha
FoxbatAlpha

That is hard to believe sales are down considering I have been buying the crap out of games.

salad10203
salad10203

I am confused, this says PC software was $27 million in one month yet Steam is estimated to make $1 billion a year = more or less $80 million a month, and they %50-%70 of digital revenues, which is estimated to be %40 percent of market. So....

DLobotomist
DLobotomist

yeah with games costing this much and much milking of the famous franchises, they will lose money until they improve the game.... its now quantity over quality.... just sad...

xtremeflem2day
xtremeflem2day

Glad to hear that the money is sinking in the industry. Maybe one day they will rely on making their games good, and will stop just throwing milked franchises out there... but who am I kidding?

James00715
James00715

Sales for all industries are going to be up and down until they get that unemployment down to 5%. Even though most people that want jobs have them (9% unemployment), they still fear losing the job at any moment. I hope unemployment can be reduced this year and we can get back to prosperous times.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

@Richardthe3rd I don't agree with you. I've shifted from the PC for the exact reasons you list. I've always had consoles, starting with the Atari 2600, but my relationship with PC gaming remains distant because there are too many variables and potential issues. I'm aware of any and all limitations, and am quite happy with the graphics running in HD on my LCD and the sound coming from my Yamaha receiver. Gaming is about experience, not graphics or control limitations. For the most part, my experience gaming on consoles is better. That said, the PC offers some great experiences as well. Nothing quite like Starcraft II for a challenging change of pace. Also, I'm sick of the whole console-gamers-have-to-deal-with-imprecise-controls-oh-and-we-PC-gamers-can-use-control-pads-too argument. Which is it? Pick one or the other, but arguing both makes you sound hypocritical.

akuya32
akuya32

If that was the case every game would be great. Most games take a long time to make and they still suck. Your point has nothing to stand on. @bezerk114 yes it does the longer it takes to make on average the better the game will be and the longer it will be and more content will be added and less technical issues.

bezerk114
bezerk114

@Silverbond\ yes it does the longer it takes to make on average the better the game will be and the longer it will be and more content will be added and less technical issues.

Silverbond
Silverbond

@phillkillv2 If the games are good, does it matter if it took one year to make them?

bezerk114
bezerk114

Whats wrong with you guys the average gamer is between 18-40 get your facts straight before you tell everyone its the truth that's how rumors get started.

deadwood1919
deadwood1919

Jan/11 really had no titles that appealed to me (and evidently many others). Feb really has not either. It looks like the 2nd half of the year has much of the superstar titles, so this down trend will most likely continue.

protoroc
protoroc

Lots of GF/Wives got Wii/Kinect/Move this Xmas and GF/Wives usually love dancing. Haters should take a moment to educate themselves to the genre, its a useful skill to learn.

bigM10231
bigM10231

only good titles on the list are DS2 and LBP2

phillkillv2
phillkillv2

I hate Black ops. The only reason I wanted that damn mappack was because of Nazi Zombies , other than that the multiplayer sucks and was just hype. The 9.0 review I gave it was a mistake Im gonna take that back. I wish I could take the $20 I spent on the mappack back too. The only FPS games I am sticking with are Battlefield , Killzone , Crysis series. + after Activision closed Bizarre Creations I am not buying another game made by them. Hope to god Take Two doesn't fall against them , I don't want rehashed GTA's I wan't games that took time to make not one year.

wis3boi
wis3boi

@FullMonty1394 Aye, I did type it wrong. Meant 8,9,10 :D AC is a great series

MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

@sleepnsurf I feel your pain on zombies 50% of the time people don't have mics 40% of the time you end up with 12 year olds or other idiots who just run around the map 10% of the time you come across normal people who can work together.

MooncalfReviews
MooncalfReviews

Everyone is waiting for games like LA Noire and Dragon Age 2. There really weren't that many new games to choose from in January anyway.