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NPD: Behind the Numbers, April 2009
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NPD: Behind the Numbers, April 2009

May 18, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 5 of 5

Chinatown Wars Breaks 160K

On Friday the NPD Group released its extended list of the 20 top-selling software titles in April 2009.

While the usual suspects appeared near the top of the list – Wii Fit, Mario Kart Wii, and Wii Play – the extended list revealed a surge in Nintendo DS software sales, probably on the strength of Nintendo DSi sales.

Along with Pokémon Platinum, the enhanced remake of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, at the #2 spot for the month, six other Nintendo DS titles made the top 20.

Those were New Super Mario Bros. (#7), Mario Kart (#8), Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (#12), Rhythm Heaven (#13), Professor Layton and the Curious Village (#15), and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (#18).

The Xbox 360 had the next best showing in the top 20 with six titles, while the Wii and PlayStation 3 had 3 each, and a single PlayStation 2 game made the chart.

The top 20-selling games for U.S. consoles in April 2009 at retail were listed as follows:

Top 20 for April 2009

There are several other points of interest in this month's software sales data.

  • While analysts were vocally disappointed in sales of Take 2's Chinatown Wars during its launch in March, it did have a relatively strong follow-on with 74,000 additional units during its second month, according to figures provided to Gamasutra by the NPD Group.

    With the additional April sales, life-to-date sales for the title have reached 163,000. Notably, sales of the game may have been bolstered when Best Buy discounted the game from $35 to $20 temporarily in April.

  • As of April, Wii Fit has made 12 consecutive appearances on the top 10 list and has reached LTD sales of 7.0 million units. Simultaneously Mario Kart Wii made its 13th consecutive appearance on the chart with a total of 5.9 million units and Wii Play made its 27th consecutive appearance with over 10.6 million units.

  • Guitar Hero: Aerosmith was heavily discounted at several retailers during April 2009. The Xbox 360 version made it to #9 on the overall chart and each version for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and Wii made it onto those platforms respective top 10 lists.

  • The only new console game to make it into the top 20 games for the month was The Godfather II from Electronic Arts. The Xbox 360 version moved 155,000 units and placed 5th while the PlayStation 3 version sold only 91,000 units and took 10th.

  • According to data provided to Gamasutra for this report, Sony's Killzone 2 sold 58,000 units for the month, dropping it out of the top 20 and bringing its LTD sales to 677,000 units.

  • As a result of the Killzone 2 figure, we know that Guitar Hero: Metallica for the PlayStation 2 and Major League Baseball 2K9 for the Xbox 360 (numbers 19 and 20 on the chart above) sold in excess of 58,000 units each during April.

  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena for the Xbox 360 did not reach into the top 20 with its sales in April, but NPD Group data provided to us revealed sales of 57,000 units for the month.

  • From Dark Athena's position on the Xbox 360 software chart, we can deduce that Halo 3 and Halo Wars each sold somewhere between 57,000 and 74,000 units.

[As always, many thanks to the NPD Group for its monthly release of the videogame industry data. Additional credit is due to Mr. Michael Pachter, analyst for Wedbush Morgan Securities, for his industry analysis. Moreover, thanks to my colleagues at Gamasutra and on NeoGAF for many helpful discussions.]

Article Start Previous Page 5 of 5

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