NPD: Dead Space 3 dethrones Black Ops II in February

EA's action horror the top-selling title in US during February, knocking latest Call of Duty to second spot for first time since launch.

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Dead Space 3 was the top-selling title of February in the United States, dethroning Call of Duty: Black Ops II, according to NPD data released today. Black Ops II had held the top spot every month since it launched in November.

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Rounding out the top five behind Dead Space 3 and Black Ops II were Crysis 3, NBA 2K13, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Notably, the critically blasted Aliens: Colonial Marines was the sixth best-selling title during February in the US. The full top 10 list is below.

Overall, industry sales for the month slid 25 percent to $810 million. According to NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan, however, these sales represent only 50 percent of the total market.

"These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50 percent of the total consumer spend on games," Callahan said in a statement. "When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in February such as used and rentals at $90 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps, and the consumer spend on social network games at $319 million, we would estimate the total consumer spend in February to be just under $1.2 billion."

Total software sales for February dove 27 percent to $369.9 million. Callahan explained that though there was the same number of February launches this year that made it to the top 10 list as there were last year, these titles performed far worse. Unit sales were down 30 percent, he said.

In addition, Callahan said the launch of Disney Infinity at its new release date in August will be an "interesting" event to watch as it goes head-to-head with Activision's billion-dollar Skylanders franchise.

"When combining the dollar value of Skylanders software as well as accessories, this property has generated over $600 million in the U.S. since launching in October 2011, and sold $35 million in this month alone," he said. "It will be interesting to watch how this dynamic of physical goods delivering digital content evolves with the launch of Disney Infinity later this year."

Hardware fared the worst in February, diving some 36 percent to $244.2 million. Despite this year-over-year downturn, Callahan some platforms, like the Wii U and PlayStation Vita, showed signs of life.

"Looking at hardware sales on an average per week basis, all platforms showed an increase from January into February. Specifically, new platforms like the Wii U and PS Vita demonstrated some momentum from the typical January hardware lull with increases of over 40 percent and 30 percent respectively," he said.

Microsoft was the only hardware maker to announce sales data for the month, earlier today trumpeting an industry-leading 302,000 Xbox 360 sales during the period.

As for accessories, this category was down 3 percent year-over-year to $213.9 million. But again, Activision's Skylanders series was a bright spot.

"Skylanders' success so far this year was driven by strong growth seen in the single character packs for Skylanders Giants which have a favorable comparison to sales of the single character packs for the first Skylanders," Callahan said.

FEBRUARY US GAME SALES (February 3-March 2, 2013)
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $810.0 million (-25%)
Non-PC hardware: $244.2 million (-36%)
Non-PC software: $352.0 (-27%)
Accessories: $213.9 million (-3%)
Total software: $369.9 billion (-27%)

TOP 10 GAMES FOR FEBRUARY 2013

Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Dead Space 3 (X360, PS3, PC) - Electronic Arts
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (X360, PS3, Wii U, PC) - Activision Blizzard
3. Crysis 3 (X360, PS3, PC) - Electronic Arts
4. NBA 2K13 (X360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
5. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3, X360) - Konami
6. Aliens: Colonial Marines (X360, PS3, PC) - Sega
7. Just Dance 4 (Wii, X360, PS3, Wii U) - Ubisoft
8. Far Cry 3 (X360, PS3, PC) - Ubisoft
9. Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time (PS3, PS Vita) - Sony
10. Madden NFL 13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, Wii U) - Electronic Arts

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