2001 game sales break records

Sales of PC games continued to climb last year despite the softening economy.

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NPD Techworld has released its year-end report on PC game sales for 2001. According to the company, PC games accounted for more than $1.42 billion in 2001 on approximate sales of 65.3 million units. For comparison, sales during 2000 generated $1.36 billion on 62.9 million units and during 1999 generated $1.27 billion on 56.5 million units.

The best-selling PC game for 2001 was EA's virtual life game, The Sims, which has sold more than 2.6 million copies since its release in November 1999. Four of the top 10 games are from EA's popular Sims franchise.

Interestingly, more than half of the 20 best-selling PC games of 2001 were released in previous years, and the top two games--EA's The Sims and Infogrames' RollerCoaster Tycoon--were both released in 1999. Strategy games also made a big impression in 2001, making up 13 of the top 20 games. GodGames' Max Payne was the only action game that made the list, coming in at 19th place, and the only role-playing games listed are Blizzard's Diablo II and the Diablo II: Lord of Destruction expansion.

The list below ranks games according to retail sales. To see a list of games ranked according to GameSpot review score, visit our Top Games page.

Rank / Title / Publisher / Release date / Average price

1 / The Sims / Electronic Arts / 11-1999 / $41
2 / RollerCoaster Tycoon / Infogrames / 02-1999 / $23
3 / Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Electronic Arts / 11-2001 / $28
4 / Diablo II: Lord of Destruction / Vivendi Universal / 06-2001 / $34
5 / The Sims: House Party / Electronic Arts / 02-2001 / $28
6 / The Sims: Livin' Large / Electronic Arts / 12-1999 / $28
7 / The Sims: Hot Date / Electronic Arts / 11-2001 / $27
8 / Diablo II / Vivendi Universal / 03-1999 / $38
9 / SimTheme Park / Electronic Arts / 11-1999 / $19
10 / Age of Empires II: Age of Kings / Microsoft / 08-1999 / $41
11 / Black & White / Electronic Arts / 03-2001 / $42
12 / Frogger / Infogrames / 11-1997 / $8
13 / Roller Coaster Tycoon: Loopy Landscapes / Infogrames / 10-2000 / $24
14 / Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 / Electronic Arts / 10-2000 / $39
15 / Backyard Basketball / Infogrames / 10-2001 / $18
16 / SimCity 3000 Unlimited / Electronic Arts / 05-2000 / $33
17 / Backyard Baseball 2001 / Infogrames / 06-2000 / $19
18 / Age of Empires II: The Conquerors / Microsoft / 08-2000 / $27
19 / Max Payne / GodGames / 07-2001 / $46
20 / SimCity 3000 / Electronic Arts / 01-1999 / $18

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