Software figures for 2010 have arrived. It was an amazing year - 17 games available on one or more video game platforms sold over 5 million (henceforth 5m) units. Nintendo, Activision, Take Two, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Square-Enix and Electronic Arts all produced 5m level hits - and Sony, Ubisoft and others just missed. Below you'll find the biggest multiplatform hits of 2010, as well as the top Wii, PS3, X360, DS, and PSP hits. A top PS2 list is excluded, as I set the minimum criteria at one or more titles topping 1m units per platform - and PS2 games topped out at 700,000 units in 2010. Given that Sony has sold over 140 million PS2s worldwide, top PS2 games only attached to 1/200 users. In contrast, all other systems had top games attach to at least 1/25 users meaning their bases were over eight times as active as the rapidly declining PS2 base was in 2010.
The list below combines video game sales across all video game dedicated hardware (i.e. Wii, PS3, X360, DS, PSP, PS2 - but not PC or phones). Figures are worldwide, in millions of units sold through to homes, and for the 52 weeks ending January 2, 2011.
Of the top thirty games, two can be played on PS2, four can be played on PSP, six can be played on DS, 13 can be played on X360, 13 can be played on PS3, and 14 can be played on Wii. Overall, it was a very strong year for console software, with portable software weakening quickly from recent peak levels in 2008 and 2009. DS and PSP have far larger userbases than Wii and PS3, but game purchases per year on the portables have fallen to under one game per user, and so the reality is the Wii and PS3 are much bigger markets now for publishers.
Roughly speaking, each of the top games of the year generated over $70 million for its publisher. At the very top, Black Ops (retail - royalties, development, advertising, packaging, and excluding downloadable content) looks like it generated over $500m for Activision. Including downloadable content and royalty breaks, not to mention the PC version, and the game is probably closer to $1 billion than $500 million for the company. A remarkable 15 - 20 games generated over $100 million in 2010 for publishers. Only about seven of the $100m+ revenue games were from Nintendo, so it was a good year overall for the publishers, as many companies were able to produce mega hits (Activision) or mega-franchises (Ubisoft) on a given platform or two.
Top sales by platform are below. Figures once again are worldwide for the 52 weeks ending January 2, 2011 and in millions of units sold. First we have Wii software.
Next up is PS3.
For our third set of data, we have the X360.
Next, we move to portables, starting with PSP.
Lastly, we have the DS top twenty.
The major break out hits of the year are clearly dance games - for as big as shooters and platformers were in 2010, both genres did well in 2009. But in 2010, Just Dance, Just Dance 2, Just Dance Kids, Michael Jackson, Dance Central, DDR, and other 'dancers' for Kinect pushed the dance genre to well over 10 million units - far above the size of the dancing genre in 2009. Other mass market content is starting to do well too (Toy Story, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Batman), as everything else but top brands falls off with declining purchasing rates. Big brands that are amongst the top 1-3 purchases of a given consumer continue to sell at extraordinary levels though as the bases are bigger than ever for Wii, PS3, X360, DS and even PSP in the case of MHP3.
Look for more information regarding trends in 2010 in the next few days and weeks on VGC. This is just a very basic start.
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