Zelda: Spirit Tracks barely misses the top 10 as Scribblenauts, New Super Mario Bros. DS, and Mario Kart DS return to top 20; The Sims 3 dominates PC best-sellers.
The NPD on Thursday wrapped up a difficult year for the gaming industry with the release of its December 2009 US retail sales figures. In addition to better-than-expected sales figures that saw the industry’s total revenues for the month up 4 percent, the NPD released a top 10 chart for non-PC games thoroughly dominated by Nintendo.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii led the charts with 2.82 million sold, the first of a half-dozen Nintendo titles in the top 10. Today, the NPD Group released the rest of its top 20, further solidifying Nintendo’s strong performance for the month.
The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks had a strong December debut, taking the 11th spot on the charts, followed closely by the DS version of New Super Mario Bros., originally released in May of 2006. The last Nintendo-published title on the list, Mario Kart DS, is another of the company’s evergreen titles, as the 17th-best-selling game of December 2009 first arrived in stores in November of 2005.
If that weren’t enough Nintendo on the sales charts, the Sega-published Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games on the DS and Wii finished 13th and 14th, respectively.
Electronic Arts (Madden NFL 10 for the 360 and PS3) and Ubisoft (Assasin’s Creed II, Just Dance) each scored a pair of entries in the back half of the top 20, while Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s sleeper hit Scribblenauts returned to the charts in 16th place.
Over on the PC charts, the dominant force was EA. The publisher had the two best-selling computer games of the month, with The Sims 3 and The Sims 3: World Adventures taking first and second, respectively. Other installments from the popular life simulation series took another three spots in the top 20, with a compilation for the franchise predecessor Sim City also making the list at 18.
EA’s chart presence wasn’t limited to the Sims’ success. The publisher’s latest role-playing game, Dragon Age: Origins, was the fourth-best-seller on the PC charts, followed at five by the EA-published, Valve-developed Left 4 Dead 2.
Activision-Blizzard also made up a significant chunk of the PC charts, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 finishing in third and three different World of Warcraft games in the top 10.
US GAME SALES – DECEMBER 2009
RANK / LAST MONTH / TITLE / PLATFORM / PUBLISHER / RELEASE DATE / UNITS (top 10 only)
1 / 3 / New Super Mario Bros. Wii / Wii / Nintendo / Nov-09 / 2,820,000
2 / 7 / Wii Fit Plus / Wii / Nintendo / Oct-09 / 2,410,000
3 / 6 / Wii Sports Resort / Wii / Nintendo / Jul-09 / 1,790,000
4 / 1 / Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 / 360 / Activision / Nov-09 / 1,630,000
5 / 2 / Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 / PS3 / Activision / Nov-09 / 1,120,000
6 / 11 / Wii Play (w/ Remote) / Wii / Nintendo / Feb-07 / 1,010,000
7 / 10 / Mario Kart Wii (w/ wheel) / Wii / Nintendo / Apr-08 / 936,100
8 / 4 / Assassin’s Creed II / 360 / Ubisoft / Nov-09 / 783,100
9 / 5 / Left 4 Dead 2 / 360 / Electronic Arts / Nov-09 / 728,500
10 / 14 / Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story / DS / Nintendo / Sep-09 / 656,700
11 / ** / The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks / DS / Nintendo / Dec-09
12 / ** New Super Mario Bros. / DS / Nintendo / May-06
13 / ** Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games / DS / Sega / Oct-09
14 / 12 Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games / Wii / Sega / Oct-09
15 / 20 Madden NFL 10 / 360 / Electronic Arts / Aug-09
16 / ** Scribblenauts / DS / Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment / Sep-09
17 / ** Mario Kart DS / DS / Nintendo / Nov-05
18 / 8 Assassin’s Creed II / PS3 / Ubisoft / Nov-09
19 / ** Madden NFL 10 / PS3 / Electronic Arts / Aug-09
20 / ** Just Dance / Wii / Ubisoft / Nov-09
US PC GAME SALES – DECEMBER 2009
RANK / LAST MONTH / TITLE / PLATFORM / PUBLISHER
1 / 4 / The Sims 3 / Electronic Arts
2 / 3 / The Sims 3: World Adventures / Electronic Arts
3 / 1 / Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 / Activision
4 / 2 / Dragon Age: Origins / Electronic Arts
5 / 5 / Left 4 Dead 2 / Electronic Arts
6 / 11 / The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / Electronic Arts
7 / 9 / World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King / Blizzard Entertainment
8 / 7 / Nancy Drew: Warnings at Waverly Academy / Her Interactive
9 / 10 / World of Warcraft: Battle Chest / Blizzard Entertainment
10 / 6 / World of Warcraft / Blizzard Entertainment
11 / 12 / IGT Slots: Texas Tea / Masque
12 / 13 / Mumbo Jumbo Assortment / Mumbo Jumbo
13 / ** / The Sims 3 Collector’s Edition / Electronic Arts
14 / 19 / Spore / Electronic Arts
15 / ** / Hoyle Card Games 2010 / Encore
16 / ** / Bejeweled 2 with Peggle / PopCap Games
17 / 20 / The Sims 2 University Life Collection / Electronic Arts
18 / ** / Sim City Box / Electronic Arts
19 / 9 / Borderlands / 2K Games
20 / ** / Zuma’s Revenge / PopCap Games