News Article

December NPD: Black Ops 2 Dominates Disappointing 2012

Posted by Sammy Barker

The future's bleak

Staying consistent with the rest of 2012, December served up another year of decline for the North American video game industry. Despite pulling in a whopping $3.2 billion during the festive window, sales were still down 22 per cent over last year’s $4.10 billion. The year as a whole drooped by a similar margin, scooping just $13.26 billion compared to 2011’s cool $16.99 billion. Is it time for new consoles?

Hardware sales were down by 20 per cent in 2012, raking in $1.07 billion for the period and $4.04 billion for the entire year. A majority of the decline came from non-HD consoles, though, roughly translating to the Nintendo Wii. System bundles actually sold more than previous years, though standalone hardware sales decreased to balance things out.

Unsurprisingly, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was the biggest selling game in December and 2012 as a whole, totalling $1.54 billion for the period and $2.67 billion for the year. Meanwhile, Far Cry 3 secured the second-best December launch since the NPD Group started tracking data, earning it a position in sixth on the best sellers list. Other titles featured in the top ten included Assassin’s Creed III, NBA 2K13, and FIFA 13. We’ve included the full rundown below.

Top 10 best selling games of December 2012:

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)
2. Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, Wii U, PS3)
3. Halo 4 (360)
4. Assassin's Creed 3 (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
5. Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, Wii U)
6. Far Cry 3 (360, PS3, PC)
7. NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC)
8. Skylander Giants (Wii, 360, PS3, 3DS, Wii U)
9. New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
10. FIFA Soccer 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, Wii U, 3DS, PSP)

Top 10 best selling games of 2012:

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
2. Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, Wii U)
3. Halo 4 (360)
4. Assassin's Creed 3 (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
5. Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, Wii U, PS3)
6. NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, Wii U, PC)
7. Borderlands 2 (360, PS3, PC)
8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)
9. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Wii, 360, NDS, PS3, 3DS, PSV, PC)
10. FIFA Soccer 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, 3DS, Wii U, PSP)


Game Screenshots

User Comments (10)



Ginkgo said:

As you say, is the industry really struggling, or has the Wii bubble just burst and the Wii U hasn't yet captured the hearts of the casual gamer?



rjejr said:

So what happened? Was 2011 exceptionally good or is this part of a downward trend over the past few years? Maybe everybody just bought stuff cheap on Black Friday this year?
I know Sony's "big" games - LBP Karting and PSASBR - didn't sell very well and have already been discounted to $30 or $40 from $60. (which is part of why I think Sly Cooper is releasing at $40, that and to compete with all the other new big releases in Feb. and March).

I know Wonderbook didn't help that number any



get2sammyb said:

@rjejr Wonderbook is a strange one because it did really well in Europe. It got a huge push over here, too, though. It just highlights the weird fragmentation between SCEE and SCEA. You sometimes get the feeling that the departments don't care for each other's games. Twisted Metal and Starhawk got much bigger pushes in the US for example — they were just dumped out in Europe.



hamispink said:

I think lower sales are both a sign of the lower quality of games overall this year, as well as the move to digital for some consumers. If sales don't pick up for all of the huge games set to release in the first half of 2013, as well as with the release of new consoles, then we should be worried.



charlesnarles said:

PS3 isn't going anywhere till 4, so I wish they'd make more games that suit current graphics standards, but focus more on actual gameplay than having doodads take up the cycles. Games haven't been trying anything that novel this year (other than those listed) so people would rather wait and buy at a discount, yeah.



ShogunRok said:

All this says to me is it's time for next gen. We always see a decline before the start of a next cycle, whether it's because everyone who wants a specific console already has one, or because people are busy waiting for the next big thing.

In a lot of ways, Sony has no choice but to launch the PS4 soon - there's no other real solution.



Splat said:

@charlesnarles - They pretty much encourage people to wait for discounts with all the GOTY and greatest hits editions. Why should I drop $60 on a game when I can wait and get it cheaper plus get the DLC for free?



IAmNotWill said:

They did this to themselves. If the industry wasn't so obsessed with the newest tech and graphics all the time, the companies wouldn't have to make such expensive games. Combine that with the recession and you have a formula for less sales.



Gamer83 said:

Lots of factors for the poor sales this year. Not as many good games (though there were some exceptional ones), bad economy and frankly this gen is starting to get a little dragged out. I think a new Xbox and PS4 are needed sooner rather than later to re-ignite the industry.

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