Top 100 games in terms of sales for 2006

Madden is just huge, and they get to do a new one every 12 months. It’s the ideal formula for a publisher.

Too bad they can’t track online revenues. WoW would have been top 10 I’m sure.

And only one PSP game on the entire list, and it isn’t GTA: Vice City Stories.

There were a copy of coss platforms that included PSP in their numbers

Good point, but still the utter failure of so many “high profile” PSP exclusives is pretty evident from that list.

I was also glad to see Okami made the top 100 but then sad to see so many crappy games selling more.

And judging by these numbers then, The Burning Crusade will be in the top 5 for 2007 based on the one-day sales of 2.4 million, right? Not to mention it has 10.5 months of sales ahead of it. Yikes.

Isn’t that 2.4 million worldwide though? This list was just the US.

But for how many of those did the PSP copies sold matter?

I wonder if at least part of that is because it’s the only “pure” fighting title on the list? The fighting genre used to be huge, but I can’t think of the last big release (DOA on the 360? Tekken on the PSP? That Capcom Street Fighter package?)

I can see a bunch of older gamers who would grab MK: Armageddon just because they recognize it as a fighting game (as opposed to a Naruto or a Dragon Ball title).

Or maybe I’m just in denial that there’s $23 million worth of Mortal Kombat fans still out there…

I can’t help but wonder: are the biggest selling games selling because they appeal to the average gamer, or are they selling because the companies that made them can afford a larger advertising budget?

Madden still outsells them all. Even though it’s the same game every year.

Based on the top few (Madden, Cars, NCAA football, New Super Mario Bros, etc.) it seems that the games that appeal to the average gamer and have heavy financial backing for advertising are the ones that sell best.

Also, Cars at #2? I guess a lot of kids that got consoles for Christmas got Cars with it… I know that was a big seller for Wii recipients that were too young to appreciate zelda.

Which is why one site looked at this and declared the potential death of the hardcore gamer.

More thoughts on the article.

To reiterate what I said earlier, the piece really does its self a disservice by not discussing the impact of not including online content. While such an exclusion might be OK for a news story aimed at the general audiences, this is written as an analysis of gaming industry sales trends. Considering one of the biggest trends in gaming right now is to more online components, thats an enormous ommission. I’m not saying figuring out what the sales of downloaded games were, but at least discuss the possible impact it would have if included one way or another.

Secondly, I noticed he only mentions two yard sticks when considering relative sales, “is it an established franchise” and review ratings. He claims that the top games were all highly rated and therefore the best way to ensure sales was to make a high quality game. Thats good and all, but what about other forms of advertisement? Do games with large marketing campaigns sell better? High reviews and franchise tie ins are sort of “free” marketing. However, games like Gears of War were featured all over the internet in previews and such.

On just thought of third point, any one else miffed that he combines consoles/PC games with handheld figures? 9 times out of 10 the handheld version of a game is a completely different game, often different to the POV. Not sure its best to represent 2 seperate games as one, but nor am I certain how that would have changed the charts.

Online content in terms of online sales or through monthly subscriptions from MMOs? If it’s the former it is accounted for in NPD- they get reporting from some online sales outlets and estimate the rest though I have no idea how accurate it is compared to the their brick and mortar analysis.

I find that odd because one of the caveats in the article (which I quoted earlier) states online sales weren’t included. Maybe they can get some idea about online sales through Target and Gamestop, but their is no brick and mortar component to Amazon or Direct2Drive. Like I said, I’m less concerned about what the exact figures are then the fact he presents this the article as the entire picture without really acknowledging (and discussing) an area that could change numerous games placement on the list.

270,000 people bought “The Family Guy” video game. The social commentary writes itself…

What about things like live arcade, steam, virtual console and gametap? I believe NPD track online sales of physical discs they don’t yet track digital downloads. While this might not have made a huge difference this year it is defiantly an increasing market and it would have been interesting to see how much revenue something like oblivion generated from downloads or how many people actually picked up hl2: episode 1.

You are also missing a key fact: this is a list of top selling games RELEASED in 2006, not a list of the top SELLING games of 2006. That’s why you don’t see games like World of Warcraft or Sims 2 on here, even though they show up near the top of monthly NPD lists pretty consistently. I think that leaving those games out is misleading and makes the attempt at analysis questionable.

I have no problem with leaving them out, they just should have had a footnote “if we included all top selling games regardless of publication WoW would have been #x, Sims2 would have been #y, etc …”

Pretty sure that is probably a mistake on Next-Gen’s part. They do get reporting from some online only entities (though I’m pretty sure Amazon isn’t one of them) but they estimate for everyone. From their webpage:

NPD’s Retail Tracking Service monitors retail sales of PC games and video games hardware, software, and accessories in the U.S. and Canada, covering all distribution channels, including online sales.

There is this meme out there that NPD doesn’t track Walmart and online sales but that hasn’t been true for a little while now since they started estimating for the entire market. A common refrain on almost any NPD thread is “but they don’t track Walmart which is a huge error in their numbers” because people still think those numbers aren’t factored in. In fact, this misconception is so bad that NPD even goes out of their way on their web page to point out that Walmart is included in their numbers.