Vast majority of biggest hitter this year are sequels

Monday, 1st December 2008 14:30 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Nine out of the ten biggest-selling games of the past 12 months are sequels, according to this Seeking Alpha piece.

Not exactly a shock, and it’s a trend unlikely to go changing any time soon, with the likes of Gears of War 2 and Call of Duty: World at War busting the block this Holiday. Good spread of genres, though.

From the piece:

Here’s a quick look at the games that have sold the most copies over the past 12 months, in order of sales to date. (Note that the sales figures are approximate, and that the release date is the first date the game was released globally.)

1. Call of Duty 4 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC (10 million copies sold-Released November 6, 2007)-Activision, now Activision Blizzard Inc. (ATVI)

2. Halo 3 for the Xbox 360 (8 million copies sold -Released September 25, 2007)-Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)

3. Grand Theft Auto 4 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC (6.5 million copies sold -Released April 29, 2008)-Take Two Interactive Software Inc. (TTWO)

4. Mario Kart Wii for the Wii (6.5 million copies sold -Released April 10, 2008)-Nintendo Co. Ltd. (NTDOY.PK)

5. Super Mario Galaxy for the Wii (6 million copies sold -Released November 1, 2007)-Nintendo

6. Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii (5 million copies sold -Released January 31, 2008)-Nintendo

7. Wii Fit for the Wii (5 million copies sold -Release December 1, 2007 (in Japan, later elsewhere)-Nintendo

8. Metal Gear Solid 4 for the PlayStation 3 (3 million copies sold -Released June 12, 2008)-Konami Corp. (KNM)



  1. Hero of Canton

    Delighted at number 5 – for some reason I thought it had struggled a bit. I know it didn’t do brilliantly in Japan, and has sold fairly steadily over here, so it must be the US and other territories that’s taken to Galaxy.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. morriss

    2 FPS, an open world game, an arcade racer, a platformer, girly kids fighter, a simulator and a TPS.

    Not a bad spread.

    #2 6 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    Interesting numbers. VGChartz has the Wii titles significantly higher. Wii Fit 10m, Mario Galaxy 7m+, Smash Bro. 7.5m, Mario Kart 10m. I know VGChartz can be a bit dodgy but that is quite a difference.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. morriss

    Yeah, it shows just how dodgy they can be. If the people that ran that site get paid it’s an amazing feat considering that 99% of everything it puts up is wrong.

    Nice job if you can get it.

    #4 6 years ago

    Surely it’s obvious that a title that has been developed with the successes/failures of a previous version/versions in mind, as well as customer feedback, is going to be a much better game than a game that’s a first version??

    #5 6 years ago
  6. morriss

    Tell that to Tomb Raider.

    #6 6 years ago

    I’m sure that later versions of Tomb Raider are a million times better than the original PS1 version…

    Anyway, you get my point right?

    Practically the only way for a first version title to be a ‘killer app’ is if it’s been developed by a studio that’s built up a top selling franchise with another game, and the first version is based on that franchise. i.e. Bioshock.

    Constant refinement generally makes a game better, so all of this isn’t really a suprise to me.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. morriss

    no they’re not and no I don’t. :)

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Esha

    I’m with morriss one hundred per cent on this.

    The first Tomb Raider hooked people on a female character with big tits, beneath it though, it was an above average action-adventure game. The developers found out that the first game sold more on the merits of Lara than on the game-play, so each successive game after that was less about the mechanics and more about stuffing more polygons into Lara’s tits.

    This went on for a number of games, until finally the dark, empty, lonely minds of the mainstream gaming public picked up on it. “Hey, dese games’re shit, dey are.”

    It was amazing though how many games they got away with, considering that each successive one was clearly a magnitude more shitty than the last. As I said though, they reached a point where they simply couldn’t con people any more. “Fool me six times, shame on me!”

    So they reinvented Lara. But looking at the reinvention with a critical eye, what was the reinvention? It was bloody clever, that’s what. It was actually just a modern makeover. It was an above-average action game again, but this was by today’s standards, and they threw in things that were common in action games today. For example: Lara wasn’t alone anymore.

    Aside from the game mechanics though, what else did they change? They updated Lara, of course. They made her “lusty” by the standards of the average straight male today (hurrah for being gay and not being targeted by the games industry… yet, at least). It was amazingly transparent, but they made her breasts a bit smaller, you know, just so they could say it was a tasteful reinvention.

    What do they follow this with? Each game after is really not quite as good as the reinvention, they’re going to get by on it being Lara for as long as they can.

    There are great action-adventure games out there, and they don’t sell primarily on tits, either. Ratchet & Clank Future, for example. If one were to compare the game-play of the latest Tomb Raider with Ratchet & Clank, taking tits out of the equation, it’s easy to see which is the lesser game, and by a great margin.

    It amazes me how much games sell based on an icon of sexual power, it really does. Would anyone claim that that’s not what’s still happening with Lara? If anyone could, then really, I’d have to have a good laugh about it.

    Also, in regards to the article: Headline of the day – “Average people buy more of franchises they’re familiar with, rather than being brave enough to try anything new” shocker!

    #9 6 years ago
  10. Blerk

    I like Tomb Raider. And I don’t like Ratchet and Clank, which is primarily about shooting stuff.

    #10 6 years ago

    Well, I’ve not played Tomb Raider since having a brief go on the original PS1 version, which I thought was totally rubbish anyway.

    Besides, my point was that games, more often than not, improve with each version to some degree.

    Lets just say for arguements sake that TR has gotten worse with each version… Well ok then.

    But proving my point perfectly is the list that sits at the top of this page.

    With the exception of Halo 3 (and Wii fit, obviously), which is arguably not as good as Halo in terms of the campaign, all of the rest are light years ahead of their respective previous versions that were already AAA games as it is.

    What do you expect?? That IW are going to make a COD better than COD2 and that people aren’t going to buy it!?

    I suppose you’d just prefer IW to take a AAA game and bin it in favour of an over saturated fairytale title with pixies and elfs that no-one will buy a few weeks after release!!

    That’s just a bit silly.

    Well anyway, I really hope that when LBP2 comes out you steer well clear of it Esha.

    What with it being a sequel and all…

    #11 6 years ago
  12. morriss

    It’s like buying an album from a musician. It doesn’t make sense, really. If you like the style of the music, you’ll continue to buy the albums. I don’t expect the artists I like to completely re-invent themselves every time they release something new.

    #12 6 years ago
  13. airdom

    Dissapointed at MGS4, i though that the game would of sold much more than that.

    #13 6 years ago
  14. Vincent

    Good point morriss, that’s actually I’d like to see more of. Companies establishing a team or “lead designer” identity, rather than always creating IPs. Even a lot of new games that aren’t sequels have been set up to spawn sequels or spin-offs if they sell well enough (Assassin’s Creed, Mirror’s Edge, probably even LBP).

    Which is a shame, because it can really limit the breadth of game types people make. To make another (slightly tired) comparison to film… there might be lots of big blockbuster movies that are sequels (or are sequalizable) but there’s also tons of succesful movies where sequels wouldn’t make sense (it’s hard to imagine, say, a sequel to Burn After Reading). They might not have existed if they couldn’t at least attach a well known actor or director to it.

    I bet a lot of games now don’t exist just because they’re not IP-worthy. It’d be nice to see more “Team ICO” style teams and have that status be used more in game branding.

    #14 6 years ago

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