NPD: Industry Saw Decline in 2010; Black Ops Topped All Games with 'More Than 12 Million' Units Sold

Although some companies achieved sales milestones in 2010, including Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops and Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, sales throughout the industry were down "as much as 1 percent when compared to 2009," the NPD Group estimates.

Data is still preliminary for "total consumer spend on gaming content via all monetization methods, including new physical video and PC games, used games, game rentals, subscriptions, digital full-game downloads, social network games, downloadable content, and mobile game apps," however, the market research company puts complete spending between $15.4 and $15.6 billion.

Physical sales still led the charge in 2010, generating revenues of "$10.1 billion, a 5 percent decline over the $10.6 billion generated in 2009." One might speculate that were the biggest sellers of the year--Black Ops, Madden NFL 11, Halo: Reach, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii--available as digital downloads across all platforms at launch, the gap between physical and digital could have been much smaller.

According to the NPD Group, Call of Duty: Black Ops was the biggest selling game of 2010 (new physical retail only, including PC), pushing "more than 12 million units" out the door since its launch in November 2010.