NPD: September Games Sales Down 6%, But Force, Fit, Rock Band 2 Reign
September's NPD game charts for the U.S. have revealed overall sales of $616 million, down some 6% on a Halo 3-swollen month last year, but with The Force Unleashed, Wii Fit, and Rock Band 2 some of the sales winners for September 2008.
Particularly notable on the U.S. game charts for September 2008 was LucasArts' The Force Unleashed, which overcame a slightly wobbly critical reception to sell way over 1 million copies in the month, including all SKUs.
Also ranking highly, besides the ever-present trio of Wii titles (Wii Fit, Mario Kart and Wii Play) was Rock Band 2, which managed 363,000 copies solely on Xbox 360, and Mercenaries 2, a creditable 297,000.
The full game charts are as follows:
1. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Xbox 360, LucasArts) - 610,000
2. Wii Fit (Wii, Nintendo) - 518,000
3. Rock Band 2 (Xbox 360, MTV/EA) - 363,000
4. Mario Kart (Wii, Nintendo) - 353,000
5. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (PS3, LucasArts) - 325,000
6. Mercenaries 2 (Xbox 360, EA) - 297,000
7. Wii Play w/Wii-mote (Wii, Nintendo) - 243,000
8. Madden NFL 09 (Xbox 360, EA) - 224,000
9. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Wii, LucasArts) - 223,000
10. Madden NFL 09 (PS2, EA) - 158,000
However, as mentioned, the month was still a 6% decrease on September 2007 numbers. Anita Frazier of the NPD notes of this: "A full 35% of last year's software sales came from one title: Halo 3. This year, the wealth is spread a bit more broadly as seven titles achieved sales of 250,000 units or more, while last year, only three hit that mark."
Frazier also commented: "Although PC games sales are not included in these numbers, there were two that should be pointed out. Spore realized sales of 406,000 units and Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning sold 274K which would put them both in the top 10 list of combined console, portable and PC games sales for the month."
Overall, video game software for the year so far reached $4.46 billion from January to September 2007, and $6.07 billion thus far this year - still an impressive 36% increase over last year's numbers.