Killer software titles all lined up for launch toward the end of last year but by the NPD Group's reckoning, none of them could really save the North American gaming industry from suffering an overall 8 percent year-on-year drop in annual retail sales. That still adds up to just over $17 blllion USD in sales for the whole of 2011, but both console hardware and software sales similarly saw year-on-year declines, with the former being hit hardest.
You won't see Microsoft moping in the corner though, as the Xbox 360 proved to be the best selling console for 2011; while NPD did not provide exact sales figures for all console platforms, the 360 was said to command a convincing 2.7 million unit lead over its closest competitor. According to NPD, it's "neck and neck" between the PS3 and Wii for second place.
While consumer spending on software also saw a year-on-year drop as mentioned earlier, you'll notice that the figure nearly doubles if one were to factor revenue from digital distribution, online subscriptions, used game sales and rentals.
You probably already figured Modern Warfare 3 as the best selling title for 2011, but Ubisoft's Just Dance 3 managed to score second place over The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. While Activision managed to squeeze 2010's Black Ops into the NPD software top ten somwhere in the meantime, EA's Battlefield 3 still landed in the top five. Gears of War 3 and Just Dance 2 were the only platform-exclusive titles to make it onto the 2011 software top ten.
2011 US Games Industry Summary
Total Industry Sales - $17.02 billion USD (-8%)
Console Hardware Sales - $5.58 billion USD (-11%)
Console Software Sales - $8.83 billion USD (-6%)
Total Software Sales - ~$16.6 billion USD (-8%)
Accessory Sales - $2.61 billion USD (-11%)
|1.||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3||Activision||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii / DS / PC||11/2011|
|2.||Just Dance 3||Ubisoft||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii||10/2011|
|3.||The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim||Besthesda Softworks||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||11/2011|
|4.||Battlefield 3||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||10/2011|
|5.||Madden NFL 12||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii / PSP / PS2||08/2011|
|6.||Call of Duty: Black Ops||Activision||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC / Wii / DS||11/2010|
|7.||Batman: Arkham City||Warner Bros. Interactive||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||10/2011|
|8.||Gears of War 3||Microsoft Game Studios||Xbox 360||09/2011|
|9.||Just Dance 2||Ubisoft||Wii||10/2010|
|10.||Assassin's Creed Revelations||Ubisoft||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||11/2011|