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ERA: Modern Warfare 2 UK's Most Popular Entertainment Product of 2009
ERA: Modern Warfare 2 UK's Most Popular Entertainment Product of 2009
March 26, 2010 | By Christian Nutt

March 26, 2010 | By Christian Nutt
More: Console/PC

UK trade organization Entertainment Retailers Association has named Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as the best-selling entertainment product of 2009 in the United Kingdom, as Wii software sales shed 15 percent in revenue, amid market shrinkage.

This week, the organization, which represents wholesalers and retailers, released its 2009 Yearbook, a lengthy report which tracks sales of games, videos, and music in the UK.

Modern Warfare Wins the UK

One of the most interesting revelations is that, at 2,926,637 units, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the overall top-performing retail entertainment release of 2009 in the UK. Silver goes to film Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince, which sold 2,193,700 physical copies.

Other games in the overall entertainment sales chart include Electronic Arts' FIFA 10 at third place, Nintendo's Wii Sports Resort at seventh, and Wii Fit at 13th.

The Market Takes a Hit

According to the ERA, retail game sales dropped over £500 million ($744.15 million) from 2008 to 2009, despite the sector's overall topping of the charts, due to decreased hardware sales. The report says that in the UK, console software sales dropped 11.2 percent year-on-year as hardware sales fell 22.2 percent.

Not all platforms were so affected, however. Though Wii software sales, in units, dropped 6 percent, Xbox 360 software rose 13.4 percent and PlayStation 3 software 18.3, which represented the biggest gain.

Nintendo DS and Sony PSP software sales dropped precipitously -- 20.4 percent and 29.3 percent respectively. PC retail game sales dropped 24.7 percent. It is worth noting that the report tracks digital sales for music, digital games sales are not included.

In terms of revenue, Wii software saw a 15 percent drop, thought the unit sales only dropped 6 percent, demonstrating price shifts at retail.

The Top 10

The top 10 selling games of 2009 in the UK, according to the ERA, were:

1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Activision Blizzard - 2,926,637 copies
2. FIFA 10, Electronic Arts - 2,155,697 copies
3. Wii Sports Resort, Nintendo - 1,488,797 copies
4. Wii Fit, Nintendo - 1,246,461 copies
5. Wii Fit Plus, Nintendo - 968,282 copies
6. Assassin’s Creed II, Ubisoft - 920,910 copies
7. Mario Kart Wii, Nintendo - 917,863 copies
8. Mario & Sonic at Olympic Winter Games, Sega - 825,027 copies
9. Call of Duty: World at War, Activision Blizzard - 769,726 copies
10. FIFA 09, Electronic Arts - 713,314 copies

The full report -- which includes many more statistics about both games and the overall UK entertainment industry -- is available at the ERA's website.

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Christian Nutt
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@Christian K, The chart at the end of the article is the game top 10, not the overall media top 10.

Kris Graft
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I approve of that amazing picture.

Carl Chavez
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I'd like to see a closer analysis on the software sales in the UK. According to their chart:

UK game software revenue went down 11 percent from 2008 to 2009. If Wii revenue went down 15 percent, and if PSP, DS, and PC software each went down 20% or more, and if Xbox 360 and PS3 revenue each went up less than 20%, but total unit numbers only went down 9.5%... well, I'm curious about the actual revenue numbers that would explain the extra 1.5% gain. It seems like the only way these numbers would work on their own is if both the unit numbers and overall revenue for Wii, PSP, DS, and PC went down catastrophically, and/or if Xbox 360 and PS3 prices were heavily discounted (boosting unit sales and reducing revenue).

Perhaps they didn't bother to factor in PS2 revenue, which according to this February 2010 report below, dropped 67 percent? That might explain the discrepancy.

Carl Chavez
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Interesting... OK, looking at their full numbers in their "yearbook":

The total revenue numbers do explain it: the Xbox 360 and PS3 revenue gain (+53mil pounds) canceled out a large amount of the Wii loss (-72mil pounds), leaving the rest of the loss to PS2 (yes, they did include it! good job for them), PSP, DS, and PC.

It is VERY interesting to see that the PS2 revenue loss (-66mil pounds) is almost as much as the Wii loss, so it was very significant, and the DS revenue loss (-90mil pounds) was the largest of all.

Incidentally, the ERA included 169 million pounds of non-game PC software into their calculations. It doesn't affect the overall percentage much, since there was only a -1.2% change in that kind of software, but it does mean that the total revenue is 1.69 billion pounds, not 1.85 billion pounds. They must have wanted the software industry to sound stronger (9% stronger, hehe).

Ruth D
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Wow! This is indeed so cool! I know that this newly invented nintendo DSi XL will surely be a hit.Even though that it'll cost much but you'll be amaze and you'll enjoy this. We all remember the great debate between Nintendo Game Boy versus the Sega Game Gear. (Game Boy all the way – Sega and their stupid blue hedgehog can rot.) Nintendo already regularly comes out with new versions of their current handheld, the DS (great as it is), such as the DSi, and they've already announced the Nintendo DSi XL for this year, and next year they'll come out with the Nintendo 3DS – which should be awesome. I can't say I'll be getting payday loans and getting in line to buy one, but a 3D handheld gaming system, that doesn't require glasses? Awesomeness.

Kevin Jones
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@ Jerry Hernandez

"Congrats MW2... In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king! "


The fanatical Wii jihadist, Jerry Hernandez, strikes again! Nothing new here.

You are talking about NSMB(Wii), which was not even on the list, and the Wii as being the "land of the blind" right?

After all, NSMB was the only big game released on the Wii last Christmas. By conrast, the 360 and PS3 had AAA games like Assassins Creed 2, Left4Dead2, Uncharted 2, Borderlands, Forza 3 etc, all released in the last quarter 2009 alone.

If you want the "land of the blind", all them geriatric Wii gamers in all these old folks homes are the people you gotta go see.


"Nintendo's Wii a hit with the geriatric set?"

Kevin Jones
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@ Christian Keichel

"The Charts at the end of the article seem to be wrong, they don't include "Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince" at all. "


You can't seem to be able to read. That chart is the top 10 GAMES chart.

This is the full chart of ENTERTAINMENT(music, videos and games) top 10 sellers:

Here’s the 2009 UK Entertainment Chart (unit sales):

1. COD: Modern Warfare 2 (Activision) – 2,926,637 game

2. Harry Potter Half-Blood Prince (Warner) – 2,193,700 video

3. FIFA 10 (EA) – 2,155,697 game

4. Quantum of Solace (Fox) – 2,040,229 video

5. Twilight (E1 Ent) – 1,815,543 video

6. Susan Boyle: I Dreamed A Dream (Sony) – 1,714,369 music

7. Wii Sports Resort (Nintendo) – 1,488,797 game

8. Lady GaGa: The Fame (Universal) – 1,458,289 music

9. Slumdog Millionaire (Fox) – 1,383,838 video

10. Transformers Revenge Fallen (Paramount) – 1,362,020 video

Not only did MW2 dominate in unit sales, MW2 by far dominated in revenue as well because MW2 was launched at a pretty high price of £54.99 (RRP) as compared to the Harry Potter Half-Blood Prince which launched at only £24.99(RRP) for the DVD and £28.99 (RRP) for the Blu-ray.

This year, the top selling game in the UK is probably going to be yet another Call of Duty game, COD 7(because it's multiplatform), with Halo Reach (360) pretty close behind.

Kevin Jones
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Console Software by value:

Overall, the 360 sold more software by value than an other console/handheld.

2009 software sales by platform (Value £millions)

XBOX 360: 476

Wii: 409

PS3: 354

DS: 276

PSP: 46

PS2: 26

With the mighty Halo Reach, then COD7, and Natal launching this year, not to mention, Mass Efffect 2, Bioshock 2, Conviction, Alan Wake, Crackdown 2, Red Dead Redemption, LP2, DR2 etc, the 360 should easily take the software crown again in 2010 as well.

Kevin Jones
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@ Jerry Hernandez

The lame brained Nintendo Jihadist bellows out again?

So what's new?

"What I said has to do with the FACT that 2009 had very few stellar games overall"

Ummm the only trouble with that statement is, that your statement is not correct.

As a matter of fact, Q1 2009 had some of the best games launches ever in any first quarter, with big games like

Killzone 2

Street Fighter IV

Resident Evil 5

Halo Wars

all launched in the first quarter alone. Not to mention Skate 2 and FEAR 2 as well.

Q2, Q3 2009 brought us

The Godfather II

UFC 2009 Undisputed

360 Prototype

Fight Night Round 4

Red Faction: Guerrilla

Batman: Arkham Asylum

and Halo 3: ODST which by itself alone, sold 1.52 million units in September when it was launched.

But what counts most as far as MW2 is concerned is the 4th quarter, which had at least as many great games as Q 4 2008.

Q4 2009 gave us top game launches like :

Uncharted 2


Forza Motorsport 3

Assassin's Creed II

Left 4 Dead 2

Dragon Age: Origins

then MW 2

Compare that to the line up for Q4 2008 and you have:

Fable II

Fallout 3

Saints Row 2

Gears of War 2

Left 4 Dead

then COD WaW.

There is simply no way the Q4 2009 line up had "fewer steller games overall".

Kevin Jones
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@ Jerry Hernandez

"The video game industry revenue in 2009 was lower than it was in 2008 (2008: $21.4 billion - 2009: $19.66 billion)

Because Wii sales fell, from both lower unit sales, and average selling price(after the Wii's price was cut in October 2009).

"It has been explained that the dip in revenue was due to lack of killer titles compared to what the previous year had to offer."

Again, the PS3 and 360 had one of their best games line ups ever. The PS3 sold MORE games in 2009 than they did in 2008 as a matter of fact, but Wii sales fell.

It's like this year so far. PS3 hardware/software sales are up, while Wii hardware/software sales are down, but then both the PS3 and the 360 have already had some of their best games ever in the first 3 months of this year like Mass Effect 2, Bioshock, FF XIII, BFBC, God of War III, Heavy Rain which all launched in this first quarter alone, yet total games sales so far this yea, are down, because Wii hardware and software sales are down.

Are you going to tell me games sales this year are down because of "few stellar games overall" too?

Don't make me laugh.

Amir Sharar
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Jerry Hernandez said: "What I said has to do with the FACT that 2009 had very few stellar games overall. And that explains the revenue loss compared to the previous year.

The video game industry revenue in 2009 was lower than it was in 2008 (2008: $21.4 billion - 2009: $19.66 billion)"

2009 compared very favorably to 2008 in terms of games, especially for the 360 and PS3 consoles. In fact, I would say that in terms of quality 2009 has been an excellent year for gamers.

The numbers demonstrate this, both PS3 and 360 game sales numbers increased year over year.

We see a decrease in game revenue overall, and this is consistent with the fact that hardware sales falling 22%.

Which indicates that there are other factors, other than game quality, at play here. It is safe to say that the poor economy is a factor here. The first half of 2009 was not easy for many people.

Kevin Jones
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@ Christian Keichel

". It is completely uninteresting how NSMB Wii did,"

You were the one that swore that NSMB would smoke MW2 back in November. You also insisted that MW2 wouldn't have legs. today, 5 months after launch, MW2 is still outselling NSMB(Wii) every week in the UK. When tomorrow's UK Charttrcak numbers come out, MW2 would have outsold NSMB(Wii) yet again.

". Nobody spoke about Nintendo's performance in the United Kingdom, before you did, "

Read the article above, and I quote:

"Not all platforms were so affected, however. Though Wii software sales, in units, dropped 6 percent, Xbox 360 software rose 13.4 percent and PlayStation 3 software 18.3, which represented the biggest gain."

If the ENTIRE artacle is about Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony's performance in the United Kingom, how is it possible for "nobody" to have spoken about 's performance the UK then? Thats what the entire aricle was about, dude, so somebody had already spoken about it. It's not about Nintendo sales in Germany or whereever the heck you come from is it?

"Maybe you are this fanatic fanboy, you seem to be, and believe everything you say. "

The biggest and most rabid, borderline insane Nintendo fanboy accusing others of being fanboys?

That's a joke right?

"Maybe you are paid by Activision for being the rabbid MW2 fanboy, constantly making up facts. "

I don't have to. MW2 sales totally smoked NSMB(Wii) sales in both the UK and the US. It's not me that says so. It's right there in this report. Read it:

If the report is too complex for you to read, just go to MCVUK, they have the numbers there as well right here"

Look, I know it gives you great pain that MW2 continues to smoke your precious NSM(Wii), but that doesn't mean no one can talk bout it here does it?

Kevin Jones
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@ Christian Keichel

"I don't care, but again and again, I wish, you would remember, that you are here on an industry website, where adults are discussing, not 12 year old kids."

For a guy that "don't care", every post of yours is full of hurt from ssomeone who cares like it's personal. Meanwhile, since my 5 year old makes more sense than you do most of the time, let me know when you grow up will ya?

"About everything you said about the video games industry in 2009, just take a look at the financial reports of Take Two, EA, Activision, Atari and Ubisoft. All these companies didn't report a full year profit. So I certainly wouldn't say 2009 was such a stellar year for the industry. "

Nice straw man you got going there.

This article is not about profits or loss. This is about the quality of the games, and whether 2009 had a "stellar" (Jerry Hernandez words, not mine) line up of games or not. I produced a list of the Q4 2009 and Q4 2008 top games, and the Q4 2009 games were at the very least as good as those of of Q42008, if not better.

So games quality had little to do with 2009 sales being less than 2008 sales. 2009 game sales fell because Wii hardware/software sales fell ( PS3 software/hardware sales went UP), and the Wii had price cuts, so even if they had sold the same units, their revenues would have fallen.

In addition, you are talking about EA making losses?

Say, tell me, when is the last time EA made a profit in any quarter? EA didn't make profits for 12 straight quarters, long before 2009. It's not like they made profits in 2008, then made losses in 2009. As a matter of fact, EA's losses fell from 2008 to 2009, so they did better.

You claim Activision didn't make a profit in 2009 huh?

On what planet is that?

Activision 2009 profits says "Hello!":

"The more I think about, what you say, the more likely it sounds to me, that you are paid by one of the big publishers to defend the overall failing strategy, they have right now. "

Since you have the mental capacity of a 5 year old, we are just going to just smile and shake our heads knowingly, like we do when my kid comes up with questions about Santaclaus. :)

Kevin Jones
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@ Christian Keichel

"Strange, last time I read this article, it was about the best selling entertainment products and video games in the United Kingdom."

# 1. Best selling entertainmenrt products is NOT profits or loss of games companies. his article doesn't say anything about profits. It just talks about sales.

# 2. Jerry Hernandez came in with his 2009 did not have "steller line up" of games spiel. "Steller line" up is NOT profits of games companies. You can a release really great game in a year and still not be profitable that year. I already produced a list of the Q4 2009 and Q4 208 games, the 2009 Q4 games were every bit as good if not better than the 2008 games line up.

"Take a look at the earnings report, linked in your first link. Activision reported an operating loss of 26 million $ for 2009, they had costs and expenses of 4.305 billion $ and revenues of 4.279 billion $. "


I knew you couldn't read company earnings reports. Question is, if you can't even read earnings reports, what are you doing getting into an argument about profits and loss?

From my links:

"For calendar year 2009, Activision Blizzard's GAAP earnings per diluted share were $0.09. The results include a $0.19 per share reduction in the valuation of intangible assets reflecting the impact of a weaker market on the casual and music genres. Excluding this charge, GAAP earnings per diluted share would have been $0.28 per share. On a non-GAAP basis, the company's earnings per diluted share were $0.69."

"Today Activision Blizzard reported the financial results of its December quarter and the entire 2009 calendar year. For the year, Activision recorded a net income of $113 million, a modest turnaround from the $107 million in net losses for the company in 2008"

That is $113 million net income in 2009 calender year, giving you $0.09 diluted earnings per share GAAP for the whole of 2009. Net income - PROFITS. Earnings per share = PROFITS

Get it?

Kevin Jones
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@ Christian Keichel

"I am mildly surprised, that you not seem to understand what an operating loss is and why it is much more important, than the net income of a company"

You really don't have a clue do you?

Operating loss is more important than net income?

Since when?

Kevin Jones
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@ Christian Keichel

"Not "since when ?", but more "because of".

You know what? The first rule of holes is to stop digging and getting yourself into even more troube. I'd stop right there before further embrassament if I were you.

Since you don't seem to know much about accounting or compnay earnings reports, here is a little primer for you, ok?

In accounting and finance, earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) or operating income is a measure of a firm's profitability that excludes interest and income tax expenses

Operating Income = Operating Revenue – Operating Expenses

By contrast,

Net income is equal to the income that a firm has after subtracting costs and expenses from the total revenue.

The items deducted will typically include cost of goods sold, sales discounts, sales returns and allowances tax expense, financing expense (interest expense), and minority interest.

Net income or net loss =

Revenue – {Cost of goods sold, Sales discounts, Sales returns and allowances , Expenses, Minority interest , Preferred stock dividends, depreciation, interest and taxes}

Net income is informally called the bottom line because it is typically found on the last line of a company's income statement. That' where the buk stops at.

Now the difference between operating income and net ncome is that operating income does not take account of interets on loans, any dividends paid, depreciation and most of all, any taxes paid, so it doesn't even come close to refelecting how profitable your business really is.

You can have an solid operating income, and still be making losses because you are making huge interest payments on the loans that you took in order to carry oput your business in the first place. You can't say you are profitable, if after paying for interests on loans, taxes and depreciation, you end up with less money than you took in.

Now back to Activison, 2009 was by far the best year of profits Activition has ever had, looked at on a non-GAAP bais (Acitivision took huge charges tied to their merger in the 4th quarter, which has to be accounted for in GAAP by law, but then which had nothing to do with the actual revenues versus expenditure for the year).

Activision CEO Robert Kotick:

"We delivered better-than-expected calendar year non-GAAP financial results and our fourth quarter non-GAAP net revenues and non-GAAP earnings per share were the highest in our company's history. On a non-GAAP basis, our performance enabled us to deliver the most profitable year in our company's history and record operating margin. We generated approximately $1.2 billion in operating cash flow and ended the year with approximately $3.3 billion in cash and investments. For the calendar year, in the U.S. and Europe, Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare™ 2 was the #1 best-selling title overall and DJ Hero™ was the highest grossing new IP launched in 2009. Additionally, through Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft® we remain #1 in the subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game category worldwide, according to The NPD Group and internal Activision Blizzard estimates."

No what more nonsense you got to spew out?