NPD: NBA 2K13 tops declining October

Research group reveals 2K's newest basketball sim the top-selling game last month; total software sales slide 25 percent; Xbox 360 sells 270,000.


The NPD Group reported United States industry sales figures for October today, revealing NBA 2K13 was the best-selling game in a month that saw overall declines. Sales of 2K's latest professional basketball simulator rose 60 percent over last year's version in terms of dollars and units. NPD analyst Liam Callahan said this uptick in sales can be contributed to a favorable comparison to last year's game, which was surrounded by the uncertainty of a lockout.

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Nintendo's new role-playing games Pokemon Black and White 2 were also bright spots for October, helping spur portable softwares to a 37 percent increase year-over-year. Additionally, Callahan said Skylanders Giants performed well during the month, selling over 160 percent more units than last year's Skylanders game during its debut month.

Overall, total software sales for October fell 25 percent year-over-year to $451.8 million, compared to $605.6 million last year. Callahan attributed this overall downturn to difficult comparisons to October 2011, which saw the release of top-performers Battlefield 3 and Batman: Arkham City.

In terms of hardware, all platforms saw declines year-over-year to the tune of a 37 percent dip. However, the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, and 3DS each saw higher sales over September's figures. According to Callahan, this is evidence of "increasing momentum" moving into the holiday season.

NPD did not release specific sales figures for hardware, but Microsoft separately revealed that the Xbox 360 shifted 270,000 units during the month. This is more than any other console and marks the system's 12th consecutive month at the top spot. Microsoft also claimed that the Xbox 360 commands 56 percent of current-generation console marketshare.

Microsoft further added that total retail spend for the Xbox 360 platform during October (which includes hardware, software, and accessories) came in at $315 million.

Looking into November, Callahan said there is reason to be optimistic for software, due to the release of several high-profile games. ·

“While October was another month of steep declines in retail sales, we are looking forward to November 2012 with the results of Assassin’s Creed III, and Halo 4, which were positively reviewed, as well as the results of Call of Duty: Black Ops II," Callahan said. "These software titles, along with the Wii U launch on November 18, will provide a much needed boost to retail sales.”

Of note, Dishonored was October's only non-sequel to crack the top ten.

OCTOBER US GAME SALES (September 30-October 27)

Total retail sales: $755.5 million (-25%)
Non-PC hardware: $187.3 million (-37%)
Non-PC software: $432.6 million (-25%)
Accessories: $135.6 million (-5%)
Total software: $451.8 million (-25%)

Title (Platforms) - Publisher

1. NBA 2K13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
2. Resident Evil 6 (Xbox 360, PS3) - Capcom
3. Pokemon Black Version 2 (DS) - Nintendo
4. Dishonored (X360, PS3, PC) - Bethesda Softworks
5. Pokemon White Version 2 (PC) - Nintendo
6. Madden NFL 13 (X360, PS3, PS Vita) - Electronic Arts
7. FIFA Soccer 13 (X360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, 3DS, PSP) - Electronic Arts
8. Medal of Honor Warfighter (X360, PS3, PC) - Electronic Arts
9. Borderlands 2 (X360, PS3, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
10. Skylanders Giants (X360, PS3, 3DS, Wii) - Activision Blizzard

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