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NPD Top 20 Shows Strong  Scribblenauts , Xbox 360 Performance
NPD Top 20 Shows Strong Scribblenauts, Xbox 360 Performance
October 20, 2009 | By Matt Matthews

October 20, 2009 | By Matt Matthews
More: Console/PC

A day after publishing its latest report of American retail video game sales, the NPD Group released an extended top 20 software chart revealing strong sales for three additional Nintendo DS games, including the critical hit, Scribblenauts.

The top 10 list, revealed in yesterday's data, was dominated by Microsoft's Halo 3: ODST and Nintendo's Wii Sports Resort. Two versions of The Beatles: Rock Band and one version of Guitar Hero 5 also ranked in yesterday's chart, showing a return to prominence of music game titles. Only one Nintendo DS title, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, appeared in the top 10.

Below number 10, however, three more Nintendo DS titles sold well enough to chart. Coming it at 12th was Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, the latest entry in the collaboration between Square-Enix and Disney. The word-to-reality puzzle game, Scribblenauts from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developer 5th Cell, came in just below Kingdom Hearts with sales of 194,000 (according to NPD Group data reported by IGN). The final Nintendo DS title, Nintendo's Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box appeared at 18th, dropping from 16th on last month's top 20 list.

In previous months the strongest Nintendo DS titles have all been published by Nintendo, with Mario Kart DS and New Super Mario Bros. frequently appearing in the top 20. Neither of those Nintendo mainstays charted in September 2009 while two third-party titles sold nearly 200,000 units. It is particularly notable that Scribblenauts, a completely new and untested property, launched so well.

The Xbox 360 was the dominant platform on September's chart with eight titles, including seven from third parties like Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard, MTV Games, and Square Enix. For the first time the PlayStation 3 was the second most prominent platform with five titles. With the exception of Batman: Arkham Asylum, each of those PS3 titles also appeared as an Xbox 360 title further up the list. The Nintendo Wii had only three titles in the top 20, down from seven titles in both July and August of this year.

Electronic Arts was the most represented publisher on September's chart with five titles, all of them sports and racing franchise titles. EA also distributed the three Beatles games published by MTV Games. Nintendo was the second most successful publisher according to this chart with four titles.

Notably missing from the chart were the three other versions of Activision Blizzard's Guitar Hero 5. While the Xbox 360 version did make it into the top 10, the Wii, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 2 editions did not individually chart. Given that The Beatles: Rock Band for the PlayStation 3 took 20th on the list with sales of 132,400 units, each of the other versions of Guitar Hero 5 must have sold below that level.

Below are the top 20 games in the U.S. for September 2009, as provided by NPD Group:


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Fiore Iantosca
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Graph is not coming through for me. Anyone else?

Craig Sloat
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Yes it's not showing up for me either just shows "top-20-sep-2009.png"

Simon Carless
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This should be fixed - we were hosting the image on sister site and it looks like some ISPs are blocking that domain for mysterious reasons that we're looking into.

Fiore Iantosca
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I can see it, therefore I can comment now :)

It's pretty astounding how ODST outsold the others. The #2 title is not even close. It shows the power of the Halo name among other things. Someone spoke earlier about how Microsoft should stop with the Halos and create a new IP. While I agree, I noted at the time, it's a huge money maker for Microsoft and there are MANY Halo fans. So why not feed them?

As the article states, it's interesting that all the PS3 titles on there are also on the Xbox360. Will the increased sales in the PS3 change this? I doubt it. I still believe that the 360 game titles will outsell their PS3 counterpart - unless it involves a previous Sony exclusive, like GTA.

While the PS3 outsold more units recently, this graph is still showing the lead of the 360 and Ninendo(DS+Wii)

[User Banned]
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Fiore Iantosca
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@John: Yah, in September others did as well, about 1.52 million of them...

Kevin Jones
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Talk about a misleading headline.

In a month in which ODST alone, sold twice as many units as all Wii games in the top 20 combined, and sold over twice as many units as all DS games in the top 20 as well, the headline for this story on September software sales reads "NPD Top 20 Shows Strong Scribblenauts, Xbox 360 Performance", with no mention of the biggest selling game by far for the month, ODST, in the headline at all.

Plus, I wouldn't call a game that sold only 194K on a DS install base of a massive 33 million as "strong" sales. Scribblenauts has had plenty of hype since E3, and with the DS having 33 million users, it should have sold more than a mere 194K. Why, even Madden 10 (360), in it's second month, outsold Scribblenauts in it's first month.