Modern Warfare 2 Easily 2009’s Top Game


Infinity Ward’s monstrous Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was far and away the top-selling game of 2009, but Nintendo may have had the last laugh after all.

The official numbers for the Global Video Game Market Analysis 2009 are in, and – surprising absolutely nobody – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the best-selling game of last year, raking in a staggering 11.86 million sales worldwide.

While the combined numbers of NPD Group, GfK Chart-Track Limited and Enterbrain, Inc give CoD MewTwo a healthy lead on the competition, it may be Nintendo who won the biggest of all in calendar year ’09. MW2 may top the list seen here, but numbers two through five? Yep, you guessed it: all Nintendo, all the time. Wii Sports Resort narrowly edges out New Super Mario Bros. Wii, 7.57 mil to 7.41 mil, with Wii Fit Plus beating out its elder brother Wii Fit, 5.80 mil to 5.44 mil.

The breakdown is interesting – despite stomping the competition quite handily in the US and UK, Modern Warfare 2 sold a measly 237,500 units in Japan. In Japan, DS sales carried the market with games like Dragon Quest IX and Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver, though portable title sales were down 1% overall. Still, that minuscule drop in portable sales in Japan was small compared to the 8% decline in the US or the severe 25% year-over-year downturn in sales in the UK.

Sales overall were down in 2009 from 2008, despite an increase in newly released titles. “[W]hile there has been no noticeable slow down in the number of titles launched each year,” said NPD analyst Anita Frazier, “we do see some evidence of a converse relationship between the number of titles launched and the average unit sales of a title. When looking back at the past 7 years, we see that 2004 had the lowest number of titles launched, yet the highest average unit sales. On the other hand, 2009 had the most titles launched and average unit sales were lower than they’ve been since 2005.”

In other words, the fewer games that come out, the better the sales are for each individual game. Gee, it’s almost like consumers have finite resources to spend on these things or something.

There’s some really interesting information in the report if you’re interested in the state of the industry, so check it out over at MCV UK.

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