ChartSpot: May 2009

New Super Mario Bros., Mario Kart DS, Call of Duty games round out NPD Group's top 20 accounting of month's non-PC retail software sales; World of Warcraft dominates PC charts.

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Yesterday, the NPD Group reported on the gaming industry's US retail performance during May, revealing significantly contracting demand for hardware, software, and accessories. Still reeling from 2008's strong early-year lineup, May's software sales at retail fell off 17 percent to $448.9 million. The month wasn't without its success stories, as THQ's UFC Undisputed 2009 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 debuted strong with a combined 1 million units, while fellow newcomer EA Sports Active on the Wii sold 345,000 units.

US retail software sales took a beating in May.
US retail software sales took a beating in May.

The latter half of NPD's top 20 isn't without its surprises. Notably, the Xbox 360 edition of Activision's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare outsold its successor Call of Duty: World at War on the same platform during May, despite releasing some 12 months earlier.

The only new release in the bottom 20 was the Xbox 360 edition of Ascaron Entertainment's Sacred 2: Fallen Angel. (X-Men Origins: Wolverine released during NPD's April reporting period, though its official street date was May 1.) Other charting titles include a variety of mass-market games, including New Super Mario Bros., Mario Kart DS, Gardening Mama, and Gold's Gym Cardio Workout.

[UPDATE] On Monday, NPD offered a look at the PC side of the retail sales equation, offering a list of the top 20 desktop titles for the month of May. Unsurprisingly, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King led PC retail sales during May. In fact, three of the top four games of the month were set in Blizzard's massively multiplayer online role-playing game, with the WOW: Battle Chest and original WOW placing just behind EA's The Sims 2 Double Deluxe.

TOP-SELLING SOFTWARE SKUs - MAY 2009
Last Month / Rank / Title / Publisher / Units**
* / 1) UFC 2009 Undisputed (X360) / THQ / 679,600
1 / 2) Wii Fit w/ Balance Board (Wii) / Nintendo / 352,800
* / 3) EA Sports Active (Wii) / EA / 345,800
* / 4) UFC 2009 Undisputed (PS3) / THQ / 334,400
* / 5) Infamous (PS3) / SCEA / 175,900
2 / 6) Pokemon Platinum (DS) / Nintendo / 168,900
3 / 7) Mario Kart Wii with Wheel (Wii) / Nintendo / 158,300
* / 8) Punch-Out!! (Wii) / Nintendo / 156,900
* / 9) X-Men Origins: Wolverine (X360) / Activision Blizzard / 120,700
4 / 10) Wii Play w/ Remote (Wii) / Nintendo / 109,800
7 / 11) New Super Mario Bros. (DS) / Nintendo
8 / 12) Mario Kart DS (DS) / Nintendo
* / 13) X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PS3) / Activision Blizzard
* / 14) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (X360) / Activision Blizzard
* / 15) Gardening Mama (DS) / Majesco
* / 16) Sacred 2: Fallen Angel (X360) / CDV Software
17 / 17) Call of Duty: World at War (X360) / Activision Blizzard
13 / 18) Rhythm Heaven (DS) / Nintendo
* / 19) Halo 3 (X360) / Microsoft
* / 20) Gold's Gym Cardio Workout (Wii) / Ubisoft

TOP-SELLING PC SOFTWARE - MAY 2009***
Last Month / Rank / Title / Publisher
1 / 1) World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King / Activision Blizzard
2 / 2) The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / Electronic Arts
3 / 3) World of Warcraft: Battle Chest / Activision Blizzard
6 / 4) World of Warcraft / Activision Blizzard
5 / 5) Empire: Total War / Sega
11 / 6) Spore / Electronic Arts
7 / 7) Left 4 Dead / Electronic Arts
10 / 8) The Sims 2 Apartment Life / Electronic Arts
* / 9) Fallout Trilogy 3 Pack / Interplay
13 / 10) Starcraft: Battle Chest / Activision Blizzard
14 / 11) World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade / Activision Blizzard
8 / 12) DemiGod / Stardock
* / 13) Reel Deal Slots Adventure / Phantom EFX
16 / 14) Sim City Box / Electronic Arts
18 / 15) Fallout 3 / Bethesda Softworks
9 / 16) Diablo Battle Chest / Activision Blizzard
* / 17) Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion GOTY Edition / 2K Games
12 / 18) Warcraft III Battle Chest / Activision Blizzard
15 / 19) Warhammer 40,000: Dawn Of War II / THQ
4 / 20) Company Of Heroes: Tales Of Valor / THQ

* = Not in Top 20 last month
** = Figures include Collector's Editions and non-hardware bundles.
*** = The above chart reflects the NPD Group's PC sales data drawn from a cross-sampling of retailers nationwide. Therefore, it does not include game sales through nontraditional channels such as digital distribution.

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