Lack Of Big Releases Led To Slow U.S. Software Sales In January


Due to the lack of high-profile software launches, January 2012 software sales were down in North America, compared to the year prior. January 2011 saw the release of Dead Space 2, LittleBigPlanet 2 and DC Universe Online, but no such significant game launches were to be seen last month.


Retail sales of videogame software fell from $576.0MM to $355.9MM year-over-year (a 38% decline), but the NPD Group estimate that an additional $350 – $400 million in sales was generated from used games, social games, mobile games, rentals and subscriptions.


The 10 best-sellers in January were as follows:


Rank Title System Publisher
01. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 PS3, 360, Wii, PC Activision Blizzard
02. Just Dance 3 360, Wii Ubisoft
03. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
PS3, 360, PC Bethesda Softworks
04. NBA 2K12 PS3, 360, Wii, PC, PSP, PS2 Ubisoft
05. Battlefield 3
PS3, 360, PC Electronic Arts
06. Madden NFL 12 PS3, 360, Wii, PSP, PS2 Electronic Arts
07. Mario Kart 7 3DS Nintendo
08. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure PS3, 360, Wii, PC, 3DS Activision Blizzard
09. Zumba Fitness 2: Party Yourself Wii Majesco
10. Saints Row: The Third PS3, 360, PC THQ


Food for thought:

1. The tracking period for January only covered January 1st – 28th, which means software releases after that date weren’t counted.


2. Skylander accessories accounted for 22% of accessory sales.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.