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US game sales down 5%, Black Ops tops again - NPD

Sinking hardware, software sales send overall stateside revenues sliding; Just Dance 2, Dead Space 2, Little Big Planet 2, Zumba Fitness make top 10.


Following months of sales declines in 2010, the US game industry started 2011 with…another month of sales declines. According to NPD figures released today, overall sales of PC games, non-PC games, hardware, and accessories sank 5 percent during the January reporting period, going from $1.22 billion to $1.16 billion.

Of the various sectors, hardware sank the most, falling 8 percent to $324 million. The only company to release sales figures was Microsoft, which reported that 381,000 Xbox 360s were sold during the month, a 15 percent year-on-year increase. Neither Sony nor Nintendo issued sales figures for their platforms as of press time.

Call of Duty: Black Ops was the top title in the US once again in January.
Call of Duty: Black Ops was the top title in the US once again in January.

In terms of software, combined PC and non-PC games totaled $603.1 million, down 6 percent from $644.9 million in January 2010. The top game for the month was once again Call of Duty: Black Ops, followed by a repeat appearance from 2010 favorite Just Dance 2. Both beat off a strong debut from Dead Space 2, which shipped 2 million units worldwide just weeks after its release.

In fourth place was another debut, Little Big Planet 2, followed by the workout game Zumba Fitness: Join the Party. NBA 2K11 returned to dunk sixth place, followed by fellow holdover Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood in seventh. Kinect favorite Dance Central sashayed into eighth place, while another dance title, the double-platinum Michael Jackson The Experience, moonwalked into ninth. NPD's top 10 was rounded out by the massively multiplayer title DC Universe Online.

The sole bright spot in today's NPD figures was accessories, which includes sales of Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's PlayStation Move. The two motion-sensing systems helped sales in the category increase 6 percent from $222.8 million to $235.1 million year-over-year.

Total retail sales: $1.16 billion (-5%)
Non-PC hardware: $324.0 million (-8%)
Total software: $603.1 million (-6%)
Non-PC software: $576.0 million (-5%)
Accessories: $235.1 million (+6%)

Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, WII, NDS, PC) - Activision
2. Just Dance 2 (WII) - Ubisoft
3. Dead Space 2 (360, PS3, PC) - Electronic Arts
4. Little Big Planet 2 (PS3) - Sony
5. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (WII, 360, PS3) - Majesco
6. NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, PSP, WII, PS2, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
7. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (360, PS3) - Ubisoft
8. Dance Central (360) - MTV Games
9. Michael Jackson The Experience (WII, DS, PSP) - Ubisoft
10. DC Universe Online (PS3, PC) - Sony

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