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Game software sales flat in 2010, overall retail sales down 6% - NPD

Research firm's new measuring format finds software even; older standard sees retail sales of hardware, software, and accessories slide; Call of Duty: Black Ops year's top game.


Today NPD released its yearly sales figures for 2010, and the results were mixed. According to the company's new measuring standard, adopted last June, some $15.4-$15.6 billion of game software was purchased last year in the US, a change of 0 to -1 percent.

Surprise? Black Ops was the top game of 2010.
Surprise? Black Ops was the top game of 2010.

The new software figure includes sales of physical non-PC and PC games, used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games. Purely physical retail sales of PC and non-PC game software totaled $10.06 billion in 2010, a 5 percent decline from 2009's $10.60 billion haul.

Overall retail sales of non-PC hardware, software, and accessories slid 6 percent in 2010, falling from $19.7 billion in 2009 to $18.58 billion in 2010. Despite surging sales of the Xbox 360, hardware saw the biggest decline, falling 13 percent from $7.19 billion to $6.29 billion. Non-PC retail software sales also slipped, dropping 6 percent from $9.92 billion to $9.36 billion. Accessories, on the other hand, saw a 13 percent increase to $2.93 billion, thanks to the introduction of the PlayStation Move and Kinect motion-sensing systems.

As far as individual games, the year's top title was Call of Duty: Black Ops (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS), followed by Madden NFL 11 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP). Halo: Reach (360) came in third, followed by New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) in fourth and Red Dead Redemption (360, PS3) in fifth. Sixth place belonged to Wii Fit Plus (Wii), followed by Just Dance 2 (Wii) and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360, PS3, PC). Bringing up the rear were Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (360, PS3) and NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, PC).

Unlike in previous years, NPD did not provided year-end sales figures for either hardware platforms or individual software titles.

Total retail: $18.58 billion (-6%)
Non-PC retail hardware: $6.29 billion (-13%)
Non-PC retail accessories: $2.39 billion (+13%)
Non-PC retail software: $9.36 billion (-6%)
Retail software (incl. PC): $10.06 billion (-5%)
Software (incl. PC, DLC, mobile, social, rentals, & used): $15.4-$15.6 billion (0 to -1%)

Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, Wii, PC, DS) - Activision
2. Madden NFL 11 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP) - Electronic Arts
3. Halo: Reach (360) - Microsoft
4. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii) - Nintendo
5. Red Dead Redemption (360, PS3) - Rockstar Games
6. Wii Fit Plus (Wii) - Nintendo
7. Just Dance 2 (Wii) - Ubisoft
8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360, PS3, PC) - Activision
9. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (360, PS3) - Ubisoft
10. NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, PS2, PSP, WII, PC) - 2K Sports

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