US PC game charts: October 1-7

WOW returns to the top, and Caesar makes a solid debut as a list of regulars play musical chairs.

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On Wednesday October 4, World of Warcraft was further cemented into the pop-culture zeitgeist, courtesy of an episode of South Park. The Comedy Central cartoon featured a storyline that involved the show's four heroes--Stan, Kyle, Cartman, and Kenny--getting addicted to the massively multiplayer role-playing game, which left each a pimply, portly mess. Ironically, the merciless parody was done with the full participation of WOW developer-publisher Blizzard Entertainment, which helped South Park's creators create entire in-game machinima sequences.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, the week of October 1-7 also saw WOW at the top of the US PC game charts, nearly two years after it first hit the market. It was the second week in a row the title was in first place after it was briefly displaced by Company of Heroes. THQ's acclaimed World War II real-time strategy game hasn't fallen far, though--it finished in second place for the second week running.

As far as debuts go, the week saw only one all-new game crack the top 10--Vivendi Games' Caesar IV. The game was the first installment in the historic city-building simulation series since 1998's Caesar III, and it received the same level of decent critical praise as its forebears.

As for the rest of the list, it was many of the same faces, such as The Sims 2: Glamour Life Stuff (third), The Sims 2 (fourth), Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (sixth), SimCity 4 Deluxe (seventh), and Cars Radiator Springs Adventures (ninth). Gone from the list were Star Wars: Empire at War and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06, replaced by the aforementioned Caesar IV and returnees Guild Wars Factions (eighth) and Warcraft III Battlechest (10th).

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