December game sales rankings: Black Ops nukes competition

Call of Duty: Black Ops continues chart dominance
Call Of Duty: Black Ops

Call Of Duty: Black Ops

As expected, Call of Duty: Black Ops continued its sales dominance during the final month of sales in 2010. Read on to see how other Black Friday blockbusters fared against December's new releases and the rest of 2010's top games in the December year-end NPD report.

Call of Duty: Black Ops had another stellar month to close 2010, with the combined sales for the IP topping 12 millions units for the two months it was available on the market in the United States. To put it in perspective, the second-ranking 2010 seller -- Madden 2011 -- sold less than half of that amount.

Three new games debuted on the NPD charts this month -- World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, Disney Epic Mickey, and Michael Jackson: The Experience. Cataclysm is the first PC-exclusive to land on the charts since it's incorporated PC titles. Other single-sku games that performed well but landed outside the top ten were Kinect Sports and Dance Central on the Xbox 360, as well as UDraw Studio with UDraw Tablet for the Wii. Here's the December 2010 sales rankings.

1) Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, Wii, PC, DS - Released 11/09/10)

2) Just Dance 2 (Wii- Released 10/12/10)

3) World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (PC- Released 12/07/10)

4) Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (360, PS3- Released 11/16/10)

5) Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii- Released 11/21/10)

6) Disney Epic Mickey (Wii- Released 11/30/10)

7) Madden NFL 11 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP- Released 08/10/10)

8) Michael Jackson: The Experience (Wii, DS, PSP- Released 11/23/10)

9) NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, PC - Released 10/05/10)

10) Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (PS3, 360, Wii, PC- Released 11/16/10)

While the Nintendo DS continued to lead the overall hardware sales rankings -- in fact it passed the PS2 on the US' all-times sales charts -- the Xbox 360 finished the year strongly with another month atop the home console sales charts. The Xbox 360 had its top-selling month of all time on the heels of Black Ops and the Kinect, becoming the only system to grow in terms of sales in 2010.

In addition to the December sales figures, the NPD also provided a few notes about 2010 sales as a whole. Despite the fact that console and console software sales saw steep drops of 13% and 6%, respectively, the video game industry only saw a slight drop in overall sales, with the year-end figure looking to land between $15.4 to $15.6 billion. The reason? Boosts in the accessories market and PC game sales due to the Kinect and Cataclysm, respectively.

The NPD Group also provided the year-end sales software rankings. Like the new monthly formula, the list ranks the IPs instead of individual games for particular systems. Here's the 2010 sales rankings:

1) Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, Wii, PC, DS - Released 11/09/10)

2) Madden NFL 11 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP- Released 08/10/10)

3) Halo: Reach (Xbox 360- Released 09/14/10)

4) New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii- Released 11/15/09)

5) Red Dead Redemption (360, PS3- Released 05/18/10)

6) Wii Fit Plus (Wii- Released 10/04/09)

7) Just Dance 2 (Wii- Released 10/12/10)

8) Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (360, PS3, PC- Released 11/10/09)

9) Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (360, PS3- Released 11/16/10)

10) NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, PC - Released 10/05/10)

What do you think of the sales results above? What surprised you?

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dave Rudden

GamePro
Topics: The NPD Group, games
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