ChartSpot: December 2009

Zelda: Spirit Tracks barely misses the top 10 as Scribblenauts, New Super Mario Bros. DS, and Mario Kart DS return to top 20; The Sims 3 dominates PC best-sellers.


The NPD on Thursday wrapped up a difficult year for the gaming industry with the release of its December 2009 US retail sales figures. In addition to better-than-expected sales figures that saw the industry's total revenues for the month up 4 percent, the NPD released a top 10 chart for non-PC games thoroughly dominated by Nintendo.

Link's latest missed out on the top 10, but not by much.
Link's latest missed out on the top 10, but not by much.

New Super Mario Bros. Wii led the charts with 2.82 million sold, the first of a half-dozen Nintendo titles in the top 10. Today, the NPD Group released the rest of its top 20, further solidifying Nintendo's strong performance for the month.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks had a strong December debut, taking the 11th spot on the charts, followed closely by the DS version of New Super Mario Bros., originally released in May of 2006. The last Nintendo-published title on the list, Mario Kart DS, is another of the company's evergreen titles, as the 17th-best-selling game of December 2009 first arrived in stores in November of 2005.

If that weren't enough Nintendo on the sales charts, the Sega-published Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games on the DS and Wii finished 13th and 14th, respectively.

Electronic Arts (Madden NFL 10 for the 360 and PS3) and Ubisoft (Assasin's Creed II, Just Dance) each scored a pair of entries in the back half of the top 20, while Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's sleeper hit Scribblenauts returned to the charts in 16th place.

What's Simlish for
What's Simlish for "cash cow"?

Over on the PC charts, the dominant force was EA. The publisher had the two best-selling computer games of the month, with The Sims 3 and The Sims 3: World Adventures taking first and second, respectively. Other installments from the popular life simulation series took another three spots in the top 20, with a compilation for the franchise predecessor Sim City also making the list at 18.

EA's chart presence wasn't limited to the Sims' success. The publisher's latest role-playing game, Dragon Age: Origins, was the fourth-best-seller on the PC charts, followed at five by the EA-published, Valve-developed Left 4 Dead 2.

Activision-Blizzard also made up a significant chunk of the PC charts, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 finishing in third and three different World of Warcraft games in the top 10.

1 / 3 / New Super Mario Bros. Wii / Wii / Nintendo / Nov-09 / 2,820,000
2 / 7 / Wii Fit Plus / Wii / Nintendo / Oct-09 / 2,410,000
3 / 6 / Wii Sports Resort / Wii / Nintendo / Jul-09 / 1,790,000
4 / 1 / Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 / 360 / Activision / Nov-09 / 1,630,000
5 / 2 / Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 / PS3 / Activision / Nov-09 / 1,120,000
6 / 11 / Wii Play (w/ Remote) / Wii / Nintendo / Feb-07 / 1,010,000
7 / 10 / Mario Kart Wii (w/ wheel) / Wii / Nintendo / Apr-08 / 936,100
8 / 4 / Assassin's Creed II / 360 / Ubisoft / Nov-09 / 783,100
9 / 5 / Left 4 Dead 2 / 360 / Electronic Arts / Nov-09 / 728,500
10 / 14 / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / DS / Nintendo / Sep-09 / 656,700
11 / ** / The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks / DS / Nintendo / Dec-09
12 / ** New Super Mario Bros. / DS / Nintendo / May-06
13 / ** Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games / DS / Sega / Oct-09
14 / 12 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games / Wii / Sega / Oct-09
15 / 20 Madden NFL 10 / 360 / Electronic Arts / Aug-09
16 / ** Scribblenauts / DS / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Sep-09
17 / ** Mario Kart DS / DS / Nintendo / Nov-05
18 / 8 Assassin's Creed II / PS3 / Ubisoft / Nov-09
19 / ** Madden NFL 10 / PS3 / Electronic Arts / Aug-09
20 / ** Just Dance / Wii / Ubisoft / Nov-09

1 / 4 / The Sims 3 / Electronic Arts
2 / 3 / The Sims 3: World Adventures / Electronic Arts
3 / 1 / Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 / Activision
4 / 2 / Dragon Age: Origins / Electronic Arts
5 / 5 / Left 4 Dead 2 / Electronic Arts
6 / 11 / The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / Electronic Arts
7 / 9 / World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King / Blizzard Entertainment
8 / 7 / Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy / Her Interactive
9 / 10 / World of Warcraft: Battle Chest / Blizzard Entertainment
10 / 6 / World of Warcraft / Blizzard Entertainment
11 / 12 / IGT Slots: Texas Tea / Masque
12 / 13 / Mumbo Jumbo Assortment / Mumbo Jumbo
13 / ** / The Sims 3 Collector's Edition / Electronic Arts
14 / 19 / Spore / Electronic Arts
15 / ** / Hoyle Card Games 2010 / Encore
16 / ** / Bejeweled 2 with Peggle / PopCap Games
17 / 20 / The Sims 2 University Life Collection / Electronic Arts
18 / ** / Sim City Box / Electronic Arts
19 / 9 / Borderlands / 2K Games
20 / ** / Zuma's Revenge / PopCap Games

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Avatar image for flyingdutchdog

@germanqr Warped? My, my aren't we a bit sensitive. I am neither a fanboy of any system nor do I consider this a flame war ... that is your assumption. However, I still stand firm by my previous words ... and thus we cannot debate with your facts as you see them. a nice day to you as well

Avatar image for germanqr

@flyingdutchdog, Now this is what your warped, fanboy mind doesn`t get: I'm not defending anything I am not taking sides in that little flame war of yours and I couldn't care less about your "interpretation" of my words If you want to debate me, you better gather your facts, because that's the only thing I'm interested in debating Have a nice day

Avatar image for flyingdutchdog

@germanqr As I previously mentioned, you can flip numbers to your hearts desire and "interpret" them to shape to whatever you want them to say ... it's something politicians use constantly to favor votes from an unknowing public. Oh dear dear germanqr, do not fret ... my feelings are not hurt ... however, in your strident defense of PS3 sales, I fear maybe your feeling a bit trampled on. However, life goes on, and I hope to once again survive the onslaught of the numbers game.

Avatar image for Humorguy_basic

Who makes the decision to not give the PC unit sales like they do the console unit sales? It makes PC gaming seem weak!

Avatar image for grasshopper6

yes yes at last we're on top Mario, we are on top

Avatar image for Dualmask

People on message boards don't decide what quality is. Gaming journalists and their reviews don't decide what quality is. Buyers do. A game getting a bad review doesn't mean it's bad...and every game isn't made for every gamer. No one older than 15 is likely to enjoy Mario and Sonic, but my seven year old daughter does. On the same token, pretty much anyone can enjoy wife, who's an adult, loves it. I spend a lot of time with Wii Fit Plus, and I'm pretty far from overweight. It's just fun. Someone out there obviously liked Just Dance enough to tell others about it, since word of mouth is still the best form of advertising and usually leads to products selling like gangbusters (like the Wii does constantly). Sure, it's not the way the hardcores would have it, but that's the way it is. It's not a bad thing...if anything it means that those obsessed with making M-rated destruction games (I guess that's what a 'hardcore' game is?) need to try harder to make their games more appealing outside of their niche audience.

Avatar image for GlifeG

poor lil sony

Avatar image for germanqr

... and now some PS3 fanboy will come and will call me names eacause the installed base figures don't look good for their console of choice. Oh well...

Avatar image for germanqr

@Bashers79 I am interested in sales in figures from a professional point of view, since I work for an investment management company. I can't help but read all the news stories on sales of pretty much everything. From a gamer perspective, I couldn't care less. How am I biased by pointing out a flawed argument? I disagreed with one of two statements by commenter pazzyj: 1.- Xbox games sell more than PS3 games because the installed base is larger. Right. 2.- Xbox games sell more than PS3 games because PS3 users buy less games. Wrong (see evidence below) This piece does provide some insight on figures. If you look at CoDMW2 figures, you will see: Units sold Xbox360 / Installed Base: 1.63 m / 21.5 m = 0.076 units / console Units sold PS3 / Installed Base: 1.12 m / 12.35 m = 0.091 units / console You would have a point about some of the data I used. The installed base figures are not in this article, but please look at them and see if there's any "bias" in them. You see this as hipocrisy, biased, fanboyism or whatever. I really can't see why. My argument stands, and I just was disputing one simple (and wrong) fact. I don't care if that fact was "for" or "against" any one console. I don't understand how my previous comments could offend anyone, or even be interpreted as bias. (Edited: Initially I thought I had commented on the wrong thread and made changes accordingly. I turns out I hadn't. I apologize for my clumsiness).

Avatar image for Bashers79

@germanqr I quote: "I don't know what made you think I was saying that." May be it was the two lengthy comments you posted where you made statements about how the PS3 sold more copies of games per console. True or not, it makes me feel you're biased towards one console, so you do in fact care whether, A sells more than B after all. You also said in one of your comments: "According to the figures above, more games were sold per PS3 console than per XBOX360 console. Do the math and you'll see yourself." I've read this article and can't seem to find the figures you're referring to about games sales per console sold. This makes me think you've made them up, hardly the actions of an unbiased gamer. There's only one thing worse than fan-boys and that's hypocrites

Avatar image for 2bitSmOkEy

@ atopp399 ummm no, pretty much anywhere BUT the Wii is where its at.

Avatar image for The-Techspert

@delcidanddarth It just goes to show how much of the game market these days is made up of little kids, especially Nintendo's. I hope game developers dont start focusing their games at younger and younger audiences to get more sales at the expense of everyone else.

Avatar image for delcidanddarth

If you needed a sign of the apocalypse.... Mario and Sonic at the Olympics in a top 20 sales list is pretty much the last sign.

Avatar image for germanqr

@Bashers79, No it doesn't matter at all. I'm really not into the my console is better than yours thing, and I couldn't care less if A sells more than B or the other way around. And I don't know what made you think I was saying that. A fellow commenter made an argument I know is incorrect, and I pointed it out to him/her. That is all.

Avatar image for BaLLz_ON_FiRE

PS3 FTW go buy Ps3 they are the best Sony is GOD

Avatar image for Ladiesman17

many people affected by sales & the excitement, you're buying for yourself, not because someone else wants to buy... just be yourself..:) if for myself, I chose the sims 3,, I enjoyed it... (a lot) :D

Avatar image for atopp399

The Wii and a PC are where it's at. Anything else is a waste of money.

Avatar image for R2K3W

Console wars FTL! I own all three, the PS3 and Xbox 360 are pretty well equal for me, perhaps some favour to PS3. The Wii sits in my sister's room, nuff said. I just hate how Nintendo does business. They only make a handful of good games a year...then that becomes the only game they sell for the year. If you think about it 2009 was fairly dry for Nintendo.

Avatar image for 2bitSmOkEy

Just Dance out sold Demon's Souls thats depressing.

Avatar image for MSG-Deathscythe

just glad nintendo is there for the casual gamers.

Avatar image for Bashers79

@germanqr @flyingdutchdog Does it really matter what console is selling the most? Me personally, I couldn't give a rats a$*, so long as I get to play the games I enjoy on either of the consoles I own.

Avatar image for undergroundfrog


Avatar image for germanqr

frankblack789, what???

Avatar image for frankblack789

germanqr i think it would be best if you calmed down & let flyingdutchdog use his PS3 however he wants since he paid for it.

Avatar image for Lisandro_v22

I have nothing against Nintendo but what are Mario & Sonic and Just dance doing there? you know there should be a special tax for bad quality products imagine the twilight "novels" would be 50 bucks and also shovelware for wii. Then we could put some sense to ignorant parents by touching their wallets and also subside - the correct habits - like playing uncharted or demon's souls (so I don't hurt anyone's feelings) or watching a woody allen movie idk whatever is good for the soul

Avatar image for Gooshnads

@pazzyj as you state that most people YOU know has ps3 only for blu ray doesn't account for the majority of the population of course there are those people but it's just as valid for me to say that most people that I know use PS3 and only have an xbox for a few exclusives. the fact that you're basing your hypothesis partially on experiences from your life doesn't exactly make it a valid argument

Avatar image for germanqr

@flyingdutchdog I was responding to pazzyg, read his post. The fact of the matter is that more games are sold for every installed PS3 than for every installed Xbox360. The reason for lower sales of PS3 games compared to Xbox360 is a much smaller user base in the US (first thing pazzyj said), but NOT the fact that PS3 users are not buying games (2nd thing pazzyj said). The average PS3 user is buying more games than the Xbox user, so pazzys 2nd argument is invalid. Not so his first, obviously: MSFT has sold a lot more machines in the US. That is all I was saying, I'm sorry I hurt your feelings.

Avatar image for flyingdutchdog

@germanqr Very creative math my friend ... it's always easy to make things come out the way you want it to come out. The bottom line is, there are more 360 games sold than PS3 games ... that is the point of this article. I have a PS3 as well, and well sorry to say, but I only use it for a blueray player.

Avatar image for germanqr

@pazzyj: According to the figures above, more games were sold per PS3 console than per XBOX360 console. Do the math and you'll see yourself. So on average a PS3 gamer is buying more games than an xbox gamer. That doesn't support the "blueray player only argument" at all. It discredits it.

Avatar image for Petch1984

I have never seen a chart that fully represents quality - but I don't mind the rise of casual gamers as it raises awareness of videogames in general. This won't lead to the death of great games, I can see a Hollywood type scenario happening - where big budget casual games are released that won't be that great but the turnover they generate will allow the same developers to also experiment with smaller more original games.

Avatar image for Timbydude

I'm fine with Wii games being up there, but I only see two QUALITY Wii games on that list.

Avatar image for mariokart64fan

glad not many ps3 titles are on the list hahaha, , amazing wii and 360 and ds showing who is boss

Avatar image for JukedSolid

wow Wii fit plus is way up there O_O The amount of fat conscious people out there never ceases to amaze

Avatar image for SadPSPAddict

Goes to show those casual Wii gamers are the ones with the money :lol:

Avatar image for Sins-of-Mosin

Truly sad to see all those Nintendo games on there.

Avatar image for pazzyj

@Gangstah-Fresh "I don't get these numbers... With more people buying PS3's wouldn't it make sense that the PS3 would push more software?" Not necessarily. While the ps3 might be selling more units per month than the 360 right now, you have to remember that the 360 outsold the ps3 for a couple years and had a year head start. There is a much larger installed user base than the ps3, so naturally more games will sell for 360. Also, most people I know (including me) only use the ps3 for blu-ray and the handful of good console exclusives, and play multiplatform games on the 360.

Avatar image for thestrateger

so many people buy spore....for such a long time....interesting....

Avatar image for Jak_Napier


Avatar image for Trogeton


Avatar image for Mrfatthefat

@ Uthar_Wynn: i wz thinking the same thing...and dragon age is nowhere to be seen in total games sales....its official pc gaming is dying...maybe this year it shall be reborn...

Avatar image for RitterXplode

@ Uthar_Wynn: Yeah, it's worrying...

Avatar image for Bortson

And at the bottom of the list: Tony Hawk Ride Other than that looks like a pretty solid X-mas

Avatar image for ChamomileBaths

I picked up a Wii Fit Plus for Christmas, love it. I also got House of the Dead Overkill, that game is excellent and borderline very offensive but hilarious. When I have friends over the Wii is such an easy system to kick back with and the games that are selling are exactly those types of games (Wii Fit, Wii Sports Resort, New Mario Bros Wii, Mario Kart Wii...)

Avatar image for newb16

Its like I have said before. People can talk a lot of crap about Nintendo but this company will always be number one.

Avatar image for grasshopper6

wii need more 2D mario games

Avatar image for gameking5000

Nintendo pretty much dominated the sales... as usual

Avatar image for mayankahuja


Avatar image for Mrgonz0

Does anybody know how many units Dragon Age has sold on the PC?

Avatar image for Uthar_Wynn

16/20 of the PC best-sellers are either WoW or casual games. This is disturbing for anyone who values the continuance of hardcore games on the PC. Oh well, as long as it's still profitable hopefully we won't see many big releases neglecting the PC.

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