ChartSpot: September 2009

Aion, Champions Online debut atop NPD's monthly PC rankings, while Kingdom Hearts 358/2, Scribblenauts, and NHL 10 and in bottom half of top 20; [UPDATE] Need for Speed Shift moves under 293K on PS3/360.


Yesterday, the NPD Group issued its US game-industry report for September. As part of its findings, the industry-standard industry research firm released the top 10 non-PC games and unit sales for the longer-than-usual reporting period, which ran from August 30 to October 3.

Scribblenauts didn't see stratospheric sales, but touched down decently at retail.
Scribblenauts didn't see stratospheric sales, but touched down decently at retail.

Today, NPD released its game rankings for both the top 20 PC and non-PC games without unit-sales figures. A look at the bottom half of the latter chart reveals the fate of many high-profile debuts, which didn't make the top 10.

Despite only being on sale for five days, Square Enix's DS role-playing game Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days landed in 12th place. It was followed by another DS newcomer, Warner Bros.' word-based puzzle action game Scribblenauts, which garnered decent reviews after being the subject of much attention at the Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Next in line were three games that were heavily hyped by the second-biggest publisher in the world, Electronic Arts. NHL 10, the well-rated sequel to GameSpot's 2008 Sports Game of the Year, arrived in 14th, showing that Canada's pastime doesn't quite stir the same fervor in as many US citizens. Behind it were the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions Need for Speed: Shift, the lukewarmly received relaunch of the once chart-topping series. [UPDATE] NPD figures obtained by GameSpot show the game sold 148,000 units on the 360 and 145,00 units on the PS3.

Need for Speed: Shift didn't exactly peel out of the sales gate.
Need for Speed: Shift didn't exactly peel out of the sales gate.

Rounding out the top 20's lower portion was the PS3 edition of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, the 360 version of which was the month's seventh-place finisher. By contrast, in 11th place was the 360 version of returning entrant Batman: Arkham Asylum, the PS3 version of which finished in eighth place, thanks to bonus content featuring the Joker.

The last entrant on the top 20 was the PS3 edition of The Beatles: Rock Band, published by MTV games and distributed by EA. According to figures provided by NPD, the Fab Four-based rhythm game only sold 132,000 units on Sony's console, compared with 254,000 copies of the fifth-place-finishing 360 version and 208,600 copies of the Wii iteration, which came in 10th.

The Beatles: Rock Band's haul was good enough to outsell archrival Guitar Hero 5 during the month with 595,000 units to versus 499,000 units. Also interestingly, only one version of Guitar Hero 5 finished in the top 20--the ninth-place Xbox 360 edition--despite Activision bragging the game's preorders dwarfed those of its competitor.

Finally, in 19th place was the once-mighty Wii Fit, down 11 slots from August. Could the crazy be over? Not likely, because Nintendo was clearing out stock of the console during the month to make room for Wii Fit Plus, which went on sale October 4.

Aion usurped the usual PC chart order.
Aion usurped the usual PC chart order.

Normally reserved for either a Sims or World of Warcraft game, the top slot on the PC chart was occupied by a usurper this month. NCsoft's massively multiplayer online role-playing game Aion was the most popular game in the US during September, pushing the Sims 3 into second place.

Below that was another newcomer, Atari and Cryptic's Champions Online. Initially conceived as the now-canceled Marvel Universe Online, the superhero-themed MMORPG adopted the classic pen-and-paper RPG's universe--with decent critical results. An Xbox 360 version is planned for sometime next year.

Last Month / Rank / Title / Platform / Publisher / Release Date / Units
** / 1 / Halo 3: ODST / 360 / Microsoft / Sep-09 / 1,520,000
2 / 2 / Wii Sports Resort with Wii MotionPlus / Wii / Nintendo / Jul-09 / 442,900
1 / 3 / Madden NFL 10 / 360 / Electronic Arts / Aug-09 / 289,600
** / 4 / Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story / DS / Nintendo / Sep-09 / 258,100
** / 5 / The Beatles: Rock Band* / 360 / MTV Games/Electronic Arts / Sep-09 / 254,000
3 / 6 / Madden NFL 10 / PS3 / Electronic Arts / Aug-09 / 246,500
** / 7 / Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 / 360 / Activision / Sep-09 / 236,000
5 / 8 / Batman: Arkham Asylum* / PS3 / Square Enix (Eidos) / Aug-09 / 212,500
** / 9 / Guitar Hero 5* / 360 / Activision / Sep-09 / 210,800
** / 10 / The Beatles: Rock Band* / Wii / MTV Games/Electronic Arts / Sep-09 / 208,600
4 / 11 / Batman: Arkham Asylum* / 360 / Square Enix (Eidos) / Aug-09
** / 12 / Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days / DS / Square Enix / Sep-09
** / 13 / Scribblenauts / DS / Warner Bros. / Sep-09
** / 14 / NHL 10 / 360 / Electronic Arts / Sep-09
** / 15 / Need For Speed: Shift / 360 / Electronic Arts / Sep-09
** / 16 / Need For Speed: Shift / PS3 / Electronic Arts / Sep-09
** / 17 / Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 / PS3 / Activision / Sep-09
16 / 18 / Professor Layton And The Diabolical Box / DS / Nintendo / Aug-09
8 / 19 / Wii Fit with Balance Board* / Wii / Nintendo / May-08
** / 20 / The Beatles: Rock Band* / PS3 / MTV Games / Electronic Arts / Sep-09

*=Includes Collector's, Limited, Legendary, Bundles (Guitars) Editions. Sales figures for ranks 11-20 are not available to the public.

Last Month / Rank / Title / Publisher
** / 1 / Aion / NCsoft
1 / 2 / The Sims 3 / Electronic Arts
** / 3 / Champions Online / Atari
2 / 4 / World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King / Blizzard
** / 5 / Aion: Collector's Edition / NCsoft
4 / 6 / Mumbo Jumbo Assortment / Mumbo Jumbo
3 / 7 / The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / Electronic Arts
6 / 8 / World of Warcraft: Battle Chest / Blizzard
** / 9 / Reel Deal Slots Treasures of the Far East / Phantom EFX
8 / 10 / World of Warcraft / Blizzard
9 / 11 / Spore / Electronic Arts
** / 12 / Grand Theft Auto IV / Rockstar Games (Take 2)
11 / 13 / Starcraft: Battle Chest / Blizzard
** / 14 / Zuma's Revenge / PopCap Games
13 / 15 / World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade / Blizzard
** / 16 / Batman: Arkham Asylum / Eidos
19 / 17 / Reel Deal Slots Adventure / Phantom EFX
10 / 18 / Nancy Drew: Ransom of The Seven Ships / Her
17 / 19 / Civilization IV: Complete Edition / 2K Games
** / 20 / The Sims 2 University Life Collection / Electronic Arts

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Avatar image for dragonxknight

I like Kingdom hearts but i just dont get it because lots of people like my brother hates the game because its on ds not ps2. Should i agree or say he should like it better!

Avatar image for drangel_jam

how come they never tell the numbers of pc sales?

Avatar image for kbaily

It's great to see Scribblenauts did so well.

Avatar image for jeffv541

This is the most boring crap I've ever ignored...

Avatar image for denicola_a_god

marvel ultimate alliance good game shift is the best nfs in like 5 years too

Avatar image for badtaker

People will think PC gaming is dying but Steam sales >>>>>>>>>>>.NDP But Steam sales???

Avatar image for Harerazer

Pokemon does ODST's monthly sales in three days. Being exclusive or multiplatform doesn't matter, being a quality product does. All Halo games sell well because they are heads and shoulders above any other XBox title. Bungie doesn't sign exclusively with M$ and the XB doesn't even exist (see: EA leaving Sega platforms).

Avatar image for SalarianChemist

Halo 3: ODST is by far the best-selling game. And the really cool thing is that these are just the NPD numbers representing North America. The worldwide sales for Halo 3: ODST over this period of time were over 2.5 Million!

Avatar image for starbead

Look at that PC chart! I really hope that Windows 7 will save PC gaming. It would be nice to see a chart that wasn't dominated by 5 year old games.

Avatar image for Humorguy_basic

Wanna know how much PC games have gone down? 4 / 6 / Mumbo Jumbo Assortment / Mumbo Jumbo ** / 9 / Reel Deal Slots Treasures of the Far East / Phantom EFX 11 / 13 / Starcraft: Battle Chest / Blizzard ** / 14 / Zuma's Revenge / PopCap Games 19 / 17 / Reel Deal Slots Adventure / Phantom EFX All the above point to low sales, letting the above sort of titles appear in the charts where even 5 years ago they would never have been seen in the PC games charts.

Avatar image for Humorguy_basic

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Avatar image for SoetSout

The fact that aion is the top was a given the moment it was anounced at e3 2 years ago. at that time people already kew it would be a hit amongst mmorpg... and lets face it mmorpg is one of the bigest seller. Batman is also quite a decent game, unlike most marvel hero games

Avatar image for Berserk8989

As i expected Aion is on the first place, i was surprised to see WoW still here though.. Cheers for Batman also!

Avatar image for Shawcross

Man ODST outsold everyone by a huge margin and its a exclusive to one console. Goes to show you that you don't need to be multiplatform to get big numbers.

Avatar image for brian_13un

Glad to see Aion ^_^

Avatar image for beamme

Some good DS games came out this month.

Avatar image for TheJediExile

Good to see some awesome DS titles up there

Avatar image for Dante2710

good to see batman selling

Avatar image for Jaggermaster

World of Halo"craft" *cough* *cough*

Avatar image for badtaker

I think i have to try Aion.

Avatar image for Dualmask

Huh, the PS3 version of Batman AA outsold the 360 version. That's rare.

Avatar image for brendanhunt1

the sims 2 is still selling?

Avatar image for Nozizaki

I'm happy Kingdom Hearts sold so much. It's a great game, and 4 days isn't that long

Avatar image for BaLLz_ON_FiRE

Man can't believe that odst sold so much and knowing M$ it will keep on selling :(

Avatar image for HALO_3_R3CON


Avatar image for luert

think is pretty nice I don't hate wow but never liked it was too much strategy looking like to me, for now aion is on the top we will see if it will last at the beginning mmo always have some trouble here or there expecially goldseller time will tell, for now I'm just playing it and it is fun, and congratulations for halo 3 lovers I heard many bad things about it but the game seems to be getting good enjoy

Avatar image for BigBacon87

Wasn't Bungie saying it was on pace to sell 3 million upon release? Like a month ago?

Avatar image for SkidRow18

Batman: AA, awesome!

Avatar image for McFizzLScott

Homegirl2180!! They made the link for NHL 10 to NHL2k10 which is the wrong game. NHL 10 was given a much higher score than 2k10, so don't even worry about it.

Avatar image for monson21502

to many nfs out. why dont they make a new but classic nfs? ones with great cop chases. where ppl can be the cops online and the other teams be the racing cars. sorta like theo do in vs mode on left4dead where one team is the people and the other team is the zombies.

Avatar image for mayankahuja


Avatar image for Balaji1212

GTA IV is still in the 12th Spot inspite of it being a unplayable Port,hopefully this will encourage Rockstar to bring their other titles(Red dead redemption,Midnight club etc.,)to the PC,hopefully they'll be playable.

Avatar image for homegirl2180

They described NHL as "well-rated" and NFS as "lukewarm" despite both having the same score, and most other review sites giving the latter much more acclaim. :|

Avatar image for alkaline_DnB

and yet still no review for Aion after a month + also, WoW's not dead! look @ the sales, haters.

Avatar image for WithoutGraceXII

Brettsky128 It was never meant to be a full sequel. Calling it Halo 3.5 in an attempt to degrade it fails. And firefight mode >>> real life.

Avatar image for night_haunter

Halo 3 ODST is just an awesome game, it desrves to be on the #1 spot

Avatar image for WithoutGraceXII

World of Warcraft, both its xpacks and the WoW battle chest all still in the top 20. Bliz must be making scary amounts of money off that game.

Avatar image for akiwak

I've had Starcraft for 7 years and I still can't beat it. Never made the time to really focus and actually employ strategies.

Avatar image for SR71halo

Cool, Halo 3 ODST is on top. I figured The Beatles Rock Band would have out sold it.

Avatar image for gerudoman320

batman RULEZ

Avatar image for Artemios

@Pokemon18986 Thank you captain obvious :P

Avatar image for feliscele

Wow, Starcraft is a 10 year old game now and it's STILL on the top 20 list for PC games...and I STILL haven't gotten around to buying it!

Avatar image for k0r3aN_pR1d3

"Nancy Drew: Ransom of the Seven Ships" really?

Avatar image for RAGINGxPONY

Woo Go NHL 10!!!

Avatar image for Brettsky128

Don't tell us Halo 3 1/2 is the best selling game for the month, you'll just encourage it!

Avatar image for PSdual_wielder

Pokemon18986 Yeah you bet, Halo loves to give everyone a ride.

Avatar image for ColonelX24

My favorites: Halo 3:ODST, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, Beatles is pretty good, Starcraft. I would put Sims 3 up here, but I need a better graphics card, that would be a sad statement if I wasn't a console gamer mainly.

Avatar image for Pokemon18986

Halo 3 ODST is on top!

Avatar image for IkedaTeramusa

Anyone care to guess what had me laughing? Beatle-mania on the WII almost beat out GH5 on the 360. Anyone else think this craze is dying down? I also agree with lannyboy.. that StarCraft Battlechest is a stomper... gets my nostalgia all tingly. **Edit: Speaking of which. Aion will probably not last long if the bots and gold spammers keep it up. After a few days of playing I got tired of fighting for creatures/resources of OBVIOUS bots and the constant spam of new goldsellers.

Avatar image for lannyboy334

I will never stop being amazed how many units Blizzard pushes. Every time they announce a new game from one of their franchises they pump out units from that game again. Starcraft Battle Chest has been in the top 20 for over a year straight now, popping into the top 10 on occasion, and Diablo 2 purchases are erratic. Need not even mention WoW, not a big fan myself, but its successful. I really hope Aion is successful, it looks like a lot of fun and WoW needs competition.

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