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NPD June - Lego Batman 2 tops, hardware plummets

As predicted, the NPD is reporting US sales figures took a nosedive for the seventh consecutive month.

The traditionally sluggish month of June saw an overall year-on-year decrease of 30% in total retail spend, from $989 million to $699 million. The last time the NPD reported a year-on-year increase was November 2011, thanks to a holiday glut including record-breaking sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Most significantly, hardware sales fell off sharply, dropping 45%, from $364 million in 2011 to $201 million.

Software sales came in at $328 million, down from 2011's $461 million, representing 29% less of total industry spend than in June last year

Once again, accessories were the only area to show a positive trend - thank, Skylanders! - with a 4% jump on 2011 to hit $169.8 million.

As usual, the NPD hastened to remind us these figures don't necessarily represent the health of the industry as a whole, as they miss several key revenue streams.

“These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50-60% of the total consumer spend on games," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said.

"When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales such as used and rentals at $170 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps and the consumer spend on social network games at $491 million, we would estimate the total consumer spend in June to be $1.36 billion."


One of the most interesting entries on this month's top ten software charts is an absence. Grashopper Manufacture's Lollipop Chainsaw failed to make the top ten despite favourable reviews and a cult following; it shifted just 107,000 units. The critically-acclaimed developer's last effort, Shadows of the Damned, performed poorly this time last year, too.

Instead it was Lego Batman 2 that stormed to top spot.

"Batman may be on consumer’s minds with Batman: Arkham City also ranking sixth, and with the latest movie, Dark Knight Rises, debuting later in July," Frazier said.

    June 2012 Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms incl. PC)
  1. Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (360, Wii, PS3, NDS, 3DS, PSV, PC)
  2. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (360, PS3, PC)
  3. Diablo III (PC)
  4. Max Payne 3 (360, PS3, PC)
  5. NBA 2K12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2, PC)
  6. Batman Arkham City (360, PS3, PC)
  7. Pokemon Conquest (NDS)
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)
  9. Battlefield 3 (360, PS3, PC)
  10. The Amazing Spider-Man (360, PS3, 3DS, NDS, Wii)


As noted above, hardware sales dropped 45% year on year. The Xbox 360 shifted 257,000 units for the strongest performance, granting Microsoft its 18th consecutive month at the top, but it's a 49% year-on-year decline.

According to Nintendo, the 3DS shifted 155,000 units, an 8% jump on 2011, barely more than little brother the DS with 150,000. The Wii trailed not far behind with 95,000. Both older consoles saw significant year-on-year drops, as you'd expect.

At time of writing, Microsoft and Sony had no comment on June sales results, but Nintendo announced that US sales of the 3DS have passed 5 million units.

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About the Author
Brenna Hillier avatar

Brenna Hillier


Based in Australia and having come from a lengthy career in the Aussie games media, Brenna worked as VG247's remote Deputy Editor for several years, covering news and events from the other side of the planet to the rest of the team. After leaving VG247, Brenna retired from games media and crossed over to development, working as a writer on several video games.