NPD: Lich King dominates November PC charts

Second expansion to Blizzard's 11-million-strong MMOG tops US desktop sales, followed by Call of Duty, Spore, Fallout 3.


The big story to come out of the NPD Group's November recap of game industry retail sales in the US was record-setting sales of Nintendo's Wii and DS, which sold a combined 3.6 million units last month. However, yesterday also revealed heightened demand for console and handheld software. Thanks to a strong debut from Microsoft's Gears of War 2 and Activision's Call of Duty: World at War, sales in the category were up a combined 11 percent year over year.

As the NPD Group segments off its desktop software sales from its console and handheld report, that figure doesn't even factor in one of the biggest releases of the year, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King. This week, NPD also revealed sales rankings for PC games in November, and unsurprisingly, Lich King and its collector's edition companion secured the first and second slot.

As noted by NPD analyst Anita Frazier yesterday, Wrath of the Lich King sold in excess of 1.4 million units during its debut month. That tally represents just one half of the game's first-day worldwide sales, which Activision Blizzard pegged at 2.8 million shortly after the WOW expansion's debut. At the end of October, Blizzard Entertainment announced that its massively popular massively multiplayer online game had breached the 11-million-subscriber mark.

World of Warcraft subscribers hail from a number of countries and regions, including North America, Europe, China, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Chile, Argentina, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Most recently, WOW was launched in Russia and Latin America.

Of course, there aren't enough SKUs of World of Warcraft to dominate the entire top 10, though the WOW: Battle Chest--which contains both the original game and its first expansion, Burning Crusade--also occupied the sixth slot. Augmenting the strong performance by its console brethren, Call of Duty: World at War also performed well on the PC, securing the third slot in the charts.

Despite being the most-pirated game of 2008, Will Wright and EA Maxis' sim-everything Spore still managed to shift a substantial number of legal units, chalking up a fourth-place finish in November. The Sims 2 Double Deluxe and The Sims 2 Apartment Life Expansion Pack charted a respective seventh and ninth.

Though its Xbox 360 and PS3 counterparts fell out of the console charts in November, Fallout 3 for the PC remained a top-10 performer. Shortly after its debut in October, publisher Bethesda Softworks claimed that the game had shipped a combined 4.7 million units during its first week at retail.

The PC is often considered the true home for games produced by Valve, and the Turtle Rock Studios-developed Left 4 Dead enjoyed a measure of success on the platform in the US last month. EALA's Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 rounded out November's top-10 chart.

Title / Publisher / ASP
1) WOW: Wrath of the Lich King / Activision Blizzard / $36
2) WOW: Wrath of the Lich King Collectors Ed / Activision Blizzard / $70
3) Call Of Duty: World At War / Activision Blizzard / $50
4) Spore / Electronic Arts / $48
5) Fallout 3 / Bethesda Softworks / $49
6) WOW: Battle Chest / Activision Blizzard / $34
7) The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / Electronic Arts / $19
8) Left 4 Dead / Electronic Arts / $48
9) The Sims 2 Apartment Life / Electronic Arts / $21
10) Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 / Electronic Arts / $49
11) World of Warcraft / Activision Blizzard / $18
12) The Sims 2 Mansion & Garden Stuff / Electronic Arts / $19
13) Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy / Her Interactive / $20
14) EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey / SOE / $40
15) Far Cry 2 / Ubisoft / $50
16) World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade / Activision Blizzard / $29
17) BioShock / Take-Two / $14
18) Spore Creepy & Cute Parts Pack / Electronic Arts / $19
19) IGT Slots: Little Green Men / $20
20) Assassin's Creed: Director's Cut Edition / Ubisoft / $17

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Avatar image for Dante200X

No digital distribution sales = fail. L4D would honestly be much higher up if it was. Anybody who doesn't think so, try going onto t he L4D PC boards and ask how many people there have bought it on steam? It only sells even better when there's a sale (and there has been 2 or 3 now). A sale which is ONLY for steam's online service, not retail stores. I'm not a L4D fanboy or anything, but if it seriously ranked at 8 on store bought sales: lol. It would probably be at 2 or 3 if this counted digital sales.

Avatar image for SiNoNaX

@Bloodmist: You don't know what the hell your talking about man. In WOTLK Blizz gave you noobs the ability to do a 25 man instance (That can be done with 10 PEOPLE! mind you) to get PvP gear. Why the hell should PvP players have to do a god damn PvE instance for PvP GEAR!!!!! Like I said...all to please the noobs that now control 95% of WoWs user base. Its not the game that sucks its the people that play it, end of story. Most of you WoW fanboy noobs wont even understand what I'm saying anyways.

Avatar image for SiNoNaX

To continue my argument , 80% of the people who play WoW are 1st time MMPORG players. They basically lost their MMO virginity to it. I wouldn't be surprised if 50% of that 80 switched to WoW from Maplestory. I don't hate WoW I used to love it. The problem is Blizz is making it a carebear game to please the mass of retards. Keep farming your rep and getting your items because its based on the time you spend not your skill, while us real pro-gamers find a more competitive game.

Avatar image for shazam_lp

PC gaming now only revolves around mindless, addictive MMORPGS that suck your money. Great....

Avatar image for The_Corinthian

What's really amazing to me is Nancy Drew placing 13. Her Interactive has to be happy as hell over that. What's even more surprising is people still playing a POS mmorpg that's so formulaic it makes one barf.

Avatar image for The_Corinthian

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

Avatar image for gangsterone

i can't say im surprised that WoW came in first and second

Avatar image for Media_Mind

well, well

Avatar image for Dylanius

NavIGOtoR25 leurn 2 english lmao

Avatar image for NavIGOtoR25

Will Here is leave GTA IV, Mirror's Edge and Empire Total War, then and shall look, who will run straight in shop for fondest disk.

Avatar image for jansdman

People QQ coz the barbie game they play don't get much attention and did not sell much on first day.

Avatar image for cyborg100000

Release Starcraft and Diablo already, getting sick of seeing EA expansions that probably took a week to make. And Links it's so pointless saying you don't play a certain game because it means nothing. 90% of the world don't play WoW, CoD 4, Sims etc you don't see them posting about it on the forums.

Avatar image for xitwenty20ix

<< LINK REMOVED >> ^ will tell you about WoW subscriptions.

Avatar image for LinksCarnage

I am not one of the 11 million WOW subscribers. I say it proudly.

Avatar image for WishingStar

For all those who are crying about how there are 11 million subscribers and only 2.8 million in sales for Lich King, I have a couple of facts for you. The 11 million subscribers is worldwide. Blizzard previously broke down the numbers for us in a press release. The number of US subscribers doesn't exceed 3 million. NPD's only account for US RETAIL SALES. So yes, the sales of the expansion outside the US have not been accounted for in the 1.4 million. Furthermore, before you all start lamenting the failure of WoW and what not, if you read the article it says 2.8 million people bought the game ON THE FIRST DAY. You're crazy if you think everyone who wants the expansion will line up for it immediately after it's released.

Avatar image for cajunstrike

Agreed. Not at all surprising.

Avatar image for glez13

Oh, and i forgot. Nancy Drew RULEZ!!!!!!!!! at number 13, over farcry2................................................................. ..................LOL

Avatar image for glez13

Its a shame this list doesnt show the units sold. I wonder why? It would have been awesome comparing it with the one showing pirated games.

Avatar image for earlthecannibal

In other news Britney Spears tops the music charts. Guess what people.. just because it's rated #1 doesn't mean its good. In fact i've always stayed clear of things that are ranked highly, because i know what most people are really like "Stupid and easy to please"

Avatar image for da_chub

blizzard releases what 1 game a year, and people think they dominate the PC world......we have been waiting how long for new diablo, and starcraft, a real warcraft game, not an MMO. It is a good thing that is all those other titles to play, and play better versions of then what consoles get. Like COD or Left 4 Dead.

Avatar image for RocKtheCasbaH

You know you have to wonder where the PC genre would be if it wasn't for Blizzard. It seems every great game now is a console port with only the MMO's staying successfull as they suffer less from piracy. & P2P file sharing hasn't helped either.

Avatar image for no_pants_4_u

Funny to see how many people are trashing on WoW these days. What a lot of you fail to see is that NO game can remain popular forever and hold your attention, and yet many people put down on WoW because it can't satisfy your appetite for going on 5 years straight without you getting 'bored'. Come on. Blizzard made a terrific game. Just because you can't base the rest of your life on it doesn't mean you should bash it or those who still play it. Its fun will appeal (and continue to appeal) to those who haven't tried it and to those who still have fun with it. But to hold it against impossible standards such as entertaining your a$$ forever? That's ridiculous. Get over it, appreciate their effort, and move the f*ck on with your life.

Avatar image for BloodMist

See there's a perfect example of an absurd argument against the game right there.You can't adapt to changes in PvP, so it's the game's fault.Riiiight.... Oh there's a lotta world PvP, BTW.Not counting Wintergrasp, which is all about that and then some, You got Halaa, the HFP Towers, and plenty others where world PvP goes on all the time.I know because i've been in plenty of it.So, boom, right there you are owned.

Avatar image for SiNoNaX

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

Avatar image for SiNoNaX

Been reading through the comments, and it saddens me to see all the talk about how us haters "dump on Warcraft to be different", "could not enjoy the game" and blah blah. I would call myself a hater now , yes indeed. But let me state my reasons. I was as hardcore as anyone could get, loved WoW with all my heart when it was released. Life revolved around it and even hit rank 13 back in the day, on my own. Then Burning Crusade came along, battlegrounds got played out and outdoor PvP no longer existed. It gave PvP an artificial feeling. Then came the introduction of resilience which blew the game into pieces for me. First of all it ruined the PvP experience for two reasons. 1)PvP turned into a game of gear rather than skill 2)The true red line of separation between PvP and PvE Arenas is lovely but you people seem to forgot about the awesome encounters in Badlands / EPL. Ah I don't know whats missing from WoW anymore , I do know that BC and WoTLK don't give me the feeling I used to get back in the day.

Avatar image for sammoth

Soullance are you telling me there are 10 million more subscribers outside the US. I highly doubt there are 10 million sitting around outside the US who didn't buy the expansion yet. Some facts to take into account that people are tierd of WOW and have left. I seriously think that Blizzard is not telling the whole truth about there subscriber base. I mean how many of them are the full time players and how many since launch. I used to play WOW when Beta and Launched and played for 2 years until Burning and got bored of the same ole grind. Raid 6hrs to get maybe one piece of loot blah blah grind more crap to raid more etc. I never will say WOW is a bad game but, I think it's time they started working on a WOW 2 or something because this expansion is nothing but, something that was promised many years ago and is way late. Most people will stay and play WOW because there afraid of change hence why we do the same repetitive crap with our daily lives. You would think people play games to get away from the Repetitive crap of daily life but, WOW is not the case. Anyways WOW players enjoy the game while it's still the Trendy one to play. I know I enjoyed it for some time when I did play it.

Avatar image for xhizors96

O.O, wtf is blizzard going to do with soo much money, their probably all choking on the 10000000000000000000000000$ bills right now.

Avatar image for SoulLance

Well, sammoth, this is the top selling PC games in the US and the 11 million WOW subscribers are worldwide. Of course that does not mean that counting them will make it 11 million copies sold, but it could make a significant difference.

Avatar image for Masterdj1992

Im more of a Lord of The Rings Online kinda guy... never could get into wow and connect with anyone who is "all for one, and that one is me!"

Avatar image for sammoth

1.4 million units ? WTF happpened to 11 million subscribers. Something is proving to be false here. Not saying it didn't top sales but, where are the other 9.6 million subscribers that we always hear about ??

Avatar image for no_pants_4_u

With all these sales up to record proportions, don't believe all the so-called 'analysts' who tell you the gaming industry will fall apart like the rest of the economy. One look at the numbers obviously shows otherwise.

Avatar image for sieg6529

WotLK is tops on the PC? Wow, next thing you know they'll find some connection between oxygen and breathing. This would only be news if it weren't #1

Avatar image for Ar13ls

no wayyyyyyyy i never thought THAT would happen how can the expansion of a game that has over 11 millions subscribers can sell so well this news is not surprising at all if you can add more lenght to your experience in a game, i guess you'll do it right.

Avatar image for Prydes

Obvious trolls are obvious.

Avatar image for tricky-crazy

It make me laugh to see all those people saying that WoW is too ''addictive'' or dangerously addictive. The thing you don't understand is if you get addicted, the problem don't come from the game, but from you! I played WoW myself and played about... 6 months and I was never realy addicted, because I know how to moderate myself, and everybody is able to. And seriously, stop pushing Blizzard because of WoW, if they get money because there people who can't asume themself to be so weak to be addicted by WoW, this is not their problem. Think about it

Avatar image for Indulge

Jeez. With just subscriptions alone thats $165,000,000 a month for Blizzard.

Avatar image for Black_Kill3r

By now i think Blizzard's offices are made of money..........

Avatar image for doctorj11111

Does this include digital downloads because Left 4 Dead I am sure had many since it is a big feature on steam.

Avatar image for grognard

No big surprises. I wonder why the PC list doesn't list actual unit sales like the console list does.

Avatar image for fookingylp

hohohoyes Posted Dec 13, 2008 9:49 pm PT for 11 million active subscribers, 2.8 million is not as much as I would expect.. ------ well 2,8 mill is in the US only... and 11 mill is world wide, so I figure that it will run up...

Avatar image for death919

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

Avatar image for shadow9669

i cant give people comment rating swhen i tyr all i get is this message {"error_message":"Incorrect or invalid rating information"}

Avatar image for BloodMist

Heh...the fact that someone can write a literal 500 word post on a website board shows you just how great Lich King is.Food for thought.

Avatar image for RockToTheLed

I've been playing WoW since release, and I'm not at all bored. Maybe it's because I take it into moderation. Hell I only have one level 70 (which is now 74), next highest is a 66, then a 58. I guess it depends on the player. None the less, I think it's an incredible game. Most people that bash it are on the band wagon for the anti-WoW community, or have just never played it.

Avatar image for Beetroot502

There is no way they have 11 million active subscribers right now. They have HAD 11 million people subscribe at least once over the period of time the game has been out. If there were 11 million active subscribers, they would have sold close to 11 million copies right?

Avatar image for hohohoyes

for 11 million active subscribers, 2.8 million is not as much as I would expect..

Avatar image for djkaos

The game was amazing when it first came out, but the 2 expansions have slowly destroyed the game. lol and people are so quick to defend the game they are hooked on its funny, wait until the addiction wears off and you will know what I mean.

Avatar image for zatorys


Avatar image for deactivated-5d25ae64ef918

I didn't get too addicted to WoW myself honestly.. Only for about the first two months it came out about four years ago. HArd to be hooked on WoW when you're still hooked on SNES : P. but as for many others, yeah it seems the game is more addicting than drugs. Ruins lives, all these people here literally praising the crap out of Blizzard, saying that they're the king of gaming, or saying WoW is absolutely the best game ever made are truely addicted, because saying that is just absurd. It's a good game, but it's not as good as it was four years ago. Once you hit the cap level (80) the game goes severely down hill, hence the endgame content gets many complaints because it's too easy, glitchy, and poorly done, and the complaints are from casuals at that, most of the real "hardcore" players quit a long time ago. Grinding is surprisingly awesome now though. But the raids aren't going to change, it's a shame Arthas is going to be such an easy boss, much like they did to Illidan and KJ in Sunwell. We did the 80 heroic 25 mans in teir 6/sunwell crap, and barely wiped. Mostly everyone's first time, to me, the new Naxx is a disgrace to how good the original one was, sorry WotLK raid fans, but if you really like them, it's because you're a mindless zombie, or you're new to raiding. But if you like the grinding factor and questing, and side stories to quests, this game's for you, PvP is meh, it's alright, I like arena but everything else was alright. I ended my account not too long ago, along with the rest of my friends and guildmates, just because of the new raids, and we've been playing for what? Thee-four years? Good times with friends yes, but BC and WotLK raids were just boring. I guess MMOs just don't attract me too much, especially now. Don't hate on the game either, it's not terrible, but it's not all it's cracked up to be either, even game reviewers overrate it because there's 11 million+ people playing it. You know how many people would stop checking out the site? But it doesn't deserve -that- much lower than a 9 still. Now if you still do enjoy the game, then enjoy it, but don't be an addict, just be real. If someone said my favorite game of all time was garbage, I wouldn't care, because I still like it, and all that matters is that I have so much fun playing my favorite games. Don't get me wrong, even if you don't have that much fun playing WoW, you can still get addicted just because of the way it never ends, it feels more heavy on you than other MMOs. The reason I really dislike WotLK is simply because it has the name, "Warcraft" on it. A game that HAD a good story, was worked on hardly, and have fond memories of, Hell, Warcraft III made it into my top 10 favorite games of all time. Blizzard makes good games, but WoW just seems to be on life support these days, and many people are starting to see it now, but also more people are joining while veterans quit because of the hype. Once again, don't be a hater, don't be a fanboy, be a gamer. Sorry about my rambling, but it just burns me up to see people degrade themselves over a game so much.

Avatar image for SolracSelbor

Is WoW really that addicting, or are people exaggerating? I played guild wars during my undergraduate years in college and, although fun, I wasnt addicted. I was thinking about buying WoW since it looks like a pretty good game, and the numbers support it. I am however curious about the addictive capabilities this game has--if any.