NPD December 2011 Sales Results [Up5: Star Wars: The Old Republic Sales]

EviLore

Expansive Ellipses
#1
NPD Group's U.S. Games Industry Sales (New Physical Sales Channel*) - December 2011 & Annual 2011
5- week month; December retail reporting period 11/27/11 through 12/31/11


Software:

December 2011 Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms incl. PC) Rank Publisher
1.) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)** 1 Activision Blizzard
2.) Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3) 2 Ubisoft
3.) Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)** 3 Bethesda Softworks
4.) Mario Kart 7 (3DS) 4 Nintendo
5.) Battlefield 3 (360, PS3, PC)** 5 Electronic Arts
6.) Madden NFL 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2)** 6 Electronic Arts
7.) Assassin's Creed: Revelations (360, PS3, PC) 7 Ubisoft
8.) NBA 2K12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2, PC) 8 Take 2 Interactive
9.) Super Mario 3D Land (3DS) 9 Nintendo
10.) Batman: Arkham City (360, PS3, PC)** 10 Warner Bros. Interactive

14.) Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC) Electronics Arts - Over 600K

Annual 2011 Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms incl. PC) Rank Publisher
1.) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)** 1 Activision Blizzard
2.) Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3) 2 Ubisoft
3.) Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)** 3 Bethesda Softworks
4.) Battlefield 3 (360, PS3, PC)** 4 Electronic Arts
5.) Madden NFL 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2)** 5 Electronic Arts
6.) Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, Wii, NDS, PC)** 6 Activision Blizzard
7.) Batman: Arkham City (360, PS3, PC)** 7 Warner Bros. Interactive
8.) Gears of War 3 (360)** 8 Microsoft
9.) Just Dance 2 (Wii) 9 Ubisoft
10.) Assassin's Creed: Revelations (360, PS3, PC) 10 Ubisoft

**(includes CE, GOTY editions, bundles, etc. but not those bundled with hardware)

Other Software Info:
-Just Dance 3 is the No. 1 Kinect game for Dec. 2011 – in addition to being No. 1 on Wii and PlayStation Move.
-During the month of December, Xbox 360 had seven of the top 10 console game titles including: “Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3,” Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Battlefield 3,” “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations,” “Just Dance 3,” “Kinect Sports Season Two” and “Dance Central 2,” (Source: NPD Group, December 2011). [Note: Microsoft PR statements generally do not account for handheld game sales.]
-“We get asked a lot about how Skylanders is performing. If you combine the sales of software bundles with the character packs which are tracked in the accessories category, the title would rank 4th in December, and 10th for Annual 2011 on dollar sales.”
-“Star Wars: The Old Republic was the 14th best-selling title in December, and it was released only on PC. While the collector’s edition sold less than the regular SKU, the SKU’s both generated about the same in dollar sales, thanks to a hefty price point that fans were willing to spend on this well-loved franchise.”
-“There is one title that would have fallen in the top 10 for December if we were ranking on an SKU basis rather than on a combined platform basis as we do now: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was the 10th best selling software SKU for the month of December.”
-Frazier also explained that both editions of Star Wars: The Old Republic, the standard and the special collector's version, generated the same dollar sales despite shifting different unit numbers, thanks to the high price point for the special edition. According to NPD data the game sold just over 600,000 physical copies in December.


Hardware:

Xbox 360: Over 1.7 Million (-8.6%) [Best selling platform for the full year.]
Wii: 1.06 Million (-55%)
PS3: ~936K (-22.6%) [Math from 46% of console sales are Xbox 360 and above numbers.]

Hardware Note:
-“Hardware was particularly hard hit in December. Normally, we see sales increase from November to December on an average sales per week basis (keeping in mind December is a 5-week retail month as compared to November which is a 4-week retail month). The 3DS and the DS were the only platforms to realize a unit sales increase versus November, which is highly unusual since typically all platforms enjoy a lift in the biggest month at retail.”
Estimated from Nintendo reports:

Dec, 2011:

360 - 1.73m
3DS - 1.60m
Wii - 1.06m
PS3 - 0.95m
DS - 0.63m
PSP - 0.26m


Rounded to the nearest ten thousand.

Overall:

December retail sales down 21% year over year.

Full year retail sales down 8% year over year.

Retail + Digital is estimated to be down 2% year over year in the U.S. for the full year.

Dollar Sales Dec '10 Dec'11 CHG Annual 2010 Annual 2011 CHG

Total Video Game Sales (New Physical Channel) $5.07B $3.99B -21% $18.59B $17.02B -8%
Video Games Hardware $1.84B $1.32B -28% $6.29B $5.58B -11%
Video Games Software (Console+Portable - New Physical Sales only) $2.37B $2.04B -14% $9.36B $8.83B -6%
Video Games Accessories $863.5MM $628.7MM -27% $2.95B $2.61B -11%

Total Software Sales - (Console+Portable+PC - New Physical Sales Only) $2.53B $2.14B -15% $10.06B $9.27B -8%


Press Releases:

NPD Press Release said:
PORT WASHINGTON, NY, January 12, 2012 – According to leading market research company, The NPD Group, the preliminary estimate* for total consumer spend on gaming content via all monetization methods, including new physical video and PC games, used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile games, is between $16.3 to $16.6 billion. This total consumer spend on games content in 2011, which includes both physical and digital formats, represents sales that are down approximately 2 percent when compared to 2010.

Based on this estimate, spending on new physical content at retail continues to account for the majority of the total consumer spend on games content. U.S. retail sales of new physical video game content, which includes portable, console and PC game software, generated revenues of $9.3 billion, an 8 percent decline over the $10.1 billion generated in 2010.

Bright spots came from HD console software sales, which were up 9 percent in 2011, as well as increases in the consumer spend on used games sales, full-game digital downloads and downloadable content, and mobile gaming apps, which partially offset declines in the other areas of consumer spend on content.

“Overall industry results are not entirely surprising given that we are on the back end of the current console lifecycle, combined with the continued digital evolution of gaming. Core gamers continue to be engaged and spend on established franchises across both the digital and physical format using multiple devices for different gaming occasions,” said Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group.



“Our overall estimate of the market continues to point toward the increased imperative for deeper visibility into digital distribution than is available today, not only in the U.S. but globally. This is the goal of our partnership with EEDAR, and central to our discussions with publishers and others in the gaming community,” said David McQuillan, president, Games at The NPD Group.
Sony PR via jvm said:
According to the December NPD, PlayStation 3 closed out a banner 2011 with a bang, showing increases in hardware, software and peripherals year to date. As we reported earlier this week, consumers flocked to PlayStation consoles and handhelds this holiday season with more than 6.5 million units sold worldwide. With the highly anticipated U.S. launch of PlayStation Vita on February 22, featuring the biggest and best launch lineup across the history of PlayStation platforms,2012 is already shaping up to be another exciting year for PlayStation.
-- Patrick Seybold, Sr. Director of Corporate Communications at SCEA
Microsoft PR via jvm said:
With a strong holiday sales period finishing a banner year, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 ended 2011 as the best-selling current-generation console in the U.S., outselling the second place console by more than 2.7 million units. The strong December capped an impressive year during which Xbox 360 was the fastest-growing console. It also captured 49 percent of consumer retail spending, with an industry-leading $6.7 billion in sales in the U.S. for the calendar year—more than $2.1 billion on consoles and $4.6 billion on games and accessories (Source: NPD Group, December 2011).

Xbox 360 was the must-have gift this holiday season with about half of December’s retail spend on games, consoles and accessories going toward Xbox 360 products, totaling more than $1.5 billion (Source: NPD Group, December 2011). Microsoft has now sold more than 66 million Xbox 360* consoles and more than 18 million Kinect* sensors worldwide, and now has nearly 40 million Xbox LIVE members.*

December 2011 NPD highlights:
· Holding a 46 percent share of the overall current-generation console market, Xbox 360 sold more than 1.7 million units in December, solidifying the number-one console spot in the U.S. for 2011. This marks the tenth consecutive month Xbox 360 has held more than 40 percent of the current-generation console market share, and twelfth straight month Xbox 360 was the top-selling console in the U.S. (Source: NPD Group, December 2011.

· Total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform in December (hardware, software and accessories) reached $1.5 billion, the most for any console in the U.S. (Source: NPD Group, December 2011).

· During the month of December, Xbox 360 had seven of the top 10 console game titles including: “Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3,” Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Battlefield 3,” “Assassin’s Creed: Revelations,” “Just Dance 3,” “Kinect Sports Season Two” and “Dance Central 2,” (Source: NPD Group, December 2011).

· For 2011, Xbox 360 had six of the top 10 console game titles including “Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3,” “Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim,” “Gears of War 3,” “Battlefield 3,” “Madden NFL 12,” and “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” (Source: NPD Group, December 2011).


This week at CES Microsoft showed many of the ways Xbox 360 and Kinect will continue with strong momentum in 2012, including new Xbox LIVE content partners such as News Corp. Xbox 360 owners are excited about this new, fun, and interactive way to enjoy their favorite content:
· The hours of video consumed globally on Xbox LIVE increased 140 percent from 2010 to 2011.*

· In December more than 60 percent of U.S. Xbox LIVE Gold members used entertainment apps on Xbox LIVE – for an average of an hour a day each.*

· The number of people using entertainment apps on Xbox LIVE increased by nearly 50 percent globally from November to December.*


Beyond gaming, Microsoft will soon sell a Kinect for Windows sensor designed for commercial applications, bringing the magic of Kinect to whole new audiences including education, manufacturing and healthcare. Looking forward to an exciting 2012, we expect new audiences for Kinect, new experience for Xbox LIVE and a new installment in the world-class Halo and Fable franchises to help Xbox 360 have yet another stellar year.

*(Source: Internal data)
NPD said:
Analysis from NPD Group analyst, Anita Frazier, follows:


Overall

“December was very rough for new physical sales of video games hardware, software and accessories. Because of the great slate of content that came to market during the fourth quarter, I had expected December sales to represent a larger portion of total year sales than what occurred. This year, December accounted for just 23% of annual sales, while the average for the past ten years has been 28.”

“One bright spot comes from the HD console systems. Sales across all categories for the Xbox 360 and the PS3 were up 5% for 2011. Combined, the two platforms picked up 9 share points in total sales versus 2010.”

“The Xbox 360 platform accounted for nearly 40% of annual 2011 new physical retail sales across all categories.”


Hardware

“Hardware was particularly hard hit in December. Normally, we see sales increase from November to December on an average sales per week basis (keeping in mind December is a 5-week retail month as compared to November which is a 4-week retail month). The 3DS and the DS were the only platforms to realize a unit sales increase versus November, which is highly unusual since typically all platforms enjoy a lift in the biggest month at retail.”

“The Xbox 360 was the best-selling platform for the year, and the two HD platforms (360 and PS3) were the two platforms to realize a unit sales increase over last year. All other platforms declined in unit sales versus 2010 (save the 3DS which wasn’t in market last year).”

“Despite larger percentage decreases versus last year, the Wii and the PS3 were neck and neck in second place for Annual 2011.”


Software

“Our preliminary estimate for the other monetization methods in which consumers can acquire games content is $7.24B for 2011, an increase of 7% versus 2010. This includes the consumer spend on used games, digital full game and add-on content downloads, mobile games, social network games, subscriptions and rentals. The increase in these areas partially offset the decline in new physical retail sales of content in 2011. Total spend on content is down approximately 2% in 2011 while the total consumer spend against all categories is down approximately 5%. Our final estimate will be issued in March 2012, along with our Q4 estimate for these same monetization methods in Europe.”

“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 landed in the top spot for software title sales for both December and for Annual 2011. Looking at the top 10 titles for the year, two franchises scored with two titles each: Call of Duty and Just Dance – two franchises that couldn’t be more different, demonstrating the range of appealing content on consoles in 2011.”

“We get asked a lot about how Skylanders is performing. If you combine the sales of software bundles with the character packs which are tracked in the accessories category, the title would rank 4th in December, and 10th for Annual 2011 on dollar sales.”

“In a bright spot for content sales, sales of games for HD platforms were up 8% in dollars in December, and 9% for the total year. Correspondingly, the PS3 and the Xbox 360 enjoyed the highest tie ratios for the year in terms of software units sold divided by the platform install base through the end of 2011.”

“While unit sales are down less than dollar sales in the software category, the average retail price of software was down over 10% in December versus last year. This could indicate that aggressive promotions which lowered the average retail price did not spur an increase of unit sales the way they were intended to do.”

“Star Wars: The Old Republic was the 14th best-selling title in December, and it was released only on PC. While the collector’s edition sold less than the regular SKU, the SKU’s both generated about the same in dollar sales, thanks to a hefty price point that fans were willing to spend on this well-loved franchise.”


“The top 20 titles in December generated nearly half total software revenue for the month, which is very high.”

“There is one title that would have fallen in the top 10 for December if we were ranking on an SKU basis rather than on a combined platform basis as we do now: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was the 10th best selling software SKU for the month of December.”


Accessories

“A lot of the decline in accessory sales can be tied to tough comps against the performance of the Kinect and Move last Q4. Most accessory types within the category are showing declines. One bright spot is the performance of headsets, which is up 18% in dollar sales versus last December.”
 

Mpl90

Two copies sold? That's not a bomb guys, stop trolling!!!
#22
Two 3DS titles in the All Formats chart. Pretty surprising. Looking forward to hardware #s. :)
This also demonstrates the Rentark chart is not relevant. I mean, it had 3D Land above Mario Kart 7 for all December, right?
 
#26
Sony:

According to the December NPD, PlayStation 3 closed out a banner 2011 with a bang, showing increases in hardware, software and peripherals year to date. As we reported earlier this week, consumers flocked to PlayStation consoles and handhelds this holiday season with more than 6.5 million units sold worldwide. With the highly anticipated U.S. launch of PlayStation Vita on February 22, featuring the biggest and best launch lineup across the history of PlayStation platforms, 2012 is already shaping up to be another exciting year for PlayStation.
 
#30
The game did over 500k in December (based on the recent PR of the game passing a million copies in the US); so it's probably like last NPD were Mario 3D Land missed the Top 10; but still sold great.

Good to see Assassins' Creed Revelations at #10 in the top selling games of 2011. :)
 
#33
2 x 3DS for the month? I underestimate the draw that Mario Kart has.

Also, I like how EvilLore's current avatar is less intimidating than his usual one.
 
#35
Glad to see revelations do well. Game is great once you learn how to avoid the tower defense minigame and ignore the media/gaf backlash. Give me a game that fun/full of content every fall and I'll buy it every fall.