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December NPD: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 at #1 again

by John Keefer, shacknews.com, Jan 10, 2013 4:45PM PST

This month's software sales didn't change much from last month, with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 holding the top spot for the second straight month. The game was also the year's best seller, marking the fourth straight year a Call of Duty game has held the number one position.

Only two new games cracked the top 10: Far Cry 3, which came out December 4, and New Super Mario Bros. 2 for the 3DS, While Just Dance 4 actually jumped two spots from #4 in November to #2 in December. Far Cry 3's launch was the second most successful December debut since NPD began tracking retail sales in 1995.

Overall, software sales for the month were down 27 percent ($2.16 billion to $1.58 billion) from the same time last year, and down 22 percent ($9.12 billion to $7.09 billion) from 2011.

"A major culprit in the decline in retail sales in 2012 was the lack of new releases with 29 percent less SKUs across consoles, portables, and PCs," said NPD analyst Liam Callahan. "However, the SKUs that were released generated 8 percent more units per SKU and 11 percent more dollars per SKU."

The Xbox 360 continued to be king of the consoles, marking 17 months on top. The Wii U, however, sold less units this December than the Wii in December it launched (2006), but dollar sales were up 11 percent when comparing the 2006 Wii numbers to 2012 Wii U figures.

    December Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms including PC)

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
  • Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, Wii U, PS3)
  • Halo 4 (360)
  • Assassin's Creed III (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)
  • Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV)
  • Far Cry 3 (360 PS3, PC)
  • NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PC)
  • Skylanders Giants (Wii, 360, PS3, 3DS, Wii U)
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 (3DS)
  • FIFA Soccer 13 (360, PS3, PSV, Wii, 3DS, PSP, Wii U)

Losing their top-10 position this month: Need for Speed: Most Wanted and WWE 13.

The annual list for 2012:

    Annual Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms including PC)

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
  • Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV)
  • Halo 4 (360)
  • Assassin's Creed III (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)
  • Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, Wii U, PS3)
  • NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PC)
  • Borderlands 2 (360 PS3, PC)
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)
  • Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Wii, 360, NDS, PS3, 3DS, PSV, PC)
  • FIFA Soccer 13 (360, PS3, PSV, Wii, 3DS, PSP, Wii U)