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NPD January: Black Ops 2 in top spot, sales spike due to extended month

Holiday releases dominated US retail during January 2013's release drought, and although total sales spiked year-on-year, the NPD's analysis suggests we saw another month of declining retail sales.

The NPD Group recored total sales of $834.7 million in January 2012, which is a 9% year-on-year increase. Unfortunately, this increase is offset by the fact that it's a "leap month" for the NPD, which occasionally inserts five-week recording periods to keep its tracking in line with the calendar. As such, the NPD Group estimates sales were actually down about 19%.

This probably also explains hardware's slight jump of 4% to $205 million. Software brought in just under $393 million, an insignificant change from the year before despite the extra week - suggesting the trend was actually downwards.

There is good news, though; these reports don't chart digital and online sales, which represent a growing slice of total industry sales, and the accessories category jumped 30% to $256.6 million on the backs of Skylanders Giants and everyone renewing their Xbox Live subscriptions.

On the software side, DmC was the only new release to chart, at number six. No No Kuni also released during the five-week reporting period, on January 22, but it's not clear whether it was too late, or too niche, to make it into the top ten. The NPD's Liam Callahan said both new releases did well.

"While the number of new SKUs was relatively consistent for January 2013 compared to January 2012, performance of new SKUs this year versus last was six times as high, lifted by the success of titles like DMC: Devil May Cry and Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch," he said.

Ubisoft scored three entries in the top ten, and Activision and EA both took out two. No other publisher managed multiple entries. Sports was the most popular category in the top ten.

    Top ten best-selling software, US retail, January 2013
  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  2. Far Cry 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
  3. Just Dance 4 (PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  4. NBA 2K13 (PC, PS3, PSP, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  5. Madden NFL 13 (PS3, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  6. DMC: Devil May Cry (PS3, Xbox 360)
  7. Halo 4 (Xbox 360)
  8. Assassin's Creed 3 (PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  9. Skylanders Giants (3DS, PS3, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)
  10. FIFA Soccer 13 (3DS, PS3, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360)

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Brenna Hillier


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