January NPD: Far Cry 3, Ni no Kuni make surprise moves

Far Cry 3 and Ni no Kuni did surprisingly well in an NPD report that's otherwise by-the-numbers.


First, let's get the unsurprising news out of the way. Xbox 360 dominates the console sales charts again for the 25th consecutive month. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is still the #1 selling game on the charts. And the industry is still shrinking, with overall hardware sales down 17% YOY.

But there were quite a number of surprises in this month's NPD report. For example, Far Cry 3 took the number two position on the chart, ranking even higher than when it made its debut in December. According to NPD analyst Liam Callahan, this is the first time since 2002 where a December release was able to reach a 2nd place finish in January. (No wonder Ubisoft is calling Far Cry its next big franchise.)

PS3-exclusive JRPG Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch also managed to reach the 11th spot. "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," Callahan noted.

Here's the chart:

    Top 11 Games (New Physical Retail only; across all platforms including PC)

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
  • Far Cry 3 (360, PS3, PC)
  • Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, Wii U, PS3)
  • NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PC)
  • Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV)
  • DMC: Devil May Cry (PS3, 360)
  • Halo 4 (360)
  • Assassin's Creed III (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)
  • Skylanders Giants (Wii, 360, PS3, 3DS, Wii U)
  • FIFA Soccer 13 (360, PS3, PSV, Wii, 3DS, PSP, Wii U)
  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PS3)

Do note that "these sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50 percent of the total consumer spend on games." In fact, digital games are growing quite significantly as evidenced by the rapid growth of point and subscription cards.

Andrew Yoon was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

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  • reply
    February 14, 2013 4:00 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, January NPD: Far Cry 3, Ni no Kuni make surprise moves.

    Far Cry 3 and Ni no Kuni did surprisingly well in an NPD report that's otherwise by-the-numbers.

    • reply
      February 14, 2013 5:38 PM

      Finally shacknews is going to be providing us regularly with the top 11 titles!

    • reply
      February 14, 2013 6:00 PM

      first Ubisoft game I bought since Far Cry 2, and the gameplay is everything Far Cry 2 should have been. Only wish there was more crafting, since you can burn through all that really quickly.

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        February 14, 2013 6:04 PM

        Yeah my though exactly, I haven't even reached the 2nd island yet and I've already crafted everything.
        Seriously its a really great game, a lot better than the 2nd one, let's just hope in the next one they implement a system like the elder scroll and fallout games to use mods, would be a lot more easier :)

        • reply
          February 14, 2013 10:00 PM

          Well you guys just sold me on it. I enjoyed #2, but it got quite repetitive and I never finished it. Since 3 refined that experience, I'm definitely going to check it out.

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        February 14, 2013 7:29 PM

        If the game had some more lore to the set pieces it would be amazing. I have discovered some amazing shit (tropical sinkholes) that have been mostly dead... Sometimes a body here or there. Skyrim really did this pretty well.

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          February 14, 2013 7:31 PM

          yeah.. if the gameplay was poorer, i'd give it lower marks, but it's fun to play and for $30 when i bought it during that amazon deal, i'd say it's worth it.

    • reply
      February 14, 2013 6:13 PM

      The NPD report is increasingly a misleading representation of where consumers are spending their money on video games. Even in the physical retail space, NPD does not have raw sales data for a lot of major retailers, including Walmart.

      Outside of the shrinking physical retail market, NPD offers little insight at least in public reports. They do not consider iOS, Android (and the more gated versions thereof like Amazon's app store), Facebook and other "social" games, web portals, digital PC stores (Steam, Origin, Gamefly, GetGames, Green Man Gaming, etc), PC free-to-play game microtransactions, recurring MMO subscription revenue and microtransactions, ad-based revenue, user generated content stores like that in TF2, direct developer/publisher sales, and more.

      A monthly report on physical retail sales alone is an anachronism in a landscape when LoL pulls tens of millions of dollars a month and Angry Birds developer Rovio is turning down billion dollar buyout offers. Video games are alive and well, just maybe not at Best Buy or GameStop anymore.

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        February 14, 2013 7:57 PM

        It's true. Although NPD does acknowledge that it believes their report only accounts for about half of spending in games. Also, NPD does track Walmart now http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/2/prweb9165448.htm

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          February 14, 2013 8:11 PM

          I stand corrected regarding Walmart. For a long time that had been a major gap in their reporting and it's good that they have addressed it. I am very skeptical though of NPD's claim that their reporting accounts for half of consumer spending on games. The iOS market alone rivals physical retail sales month to month (I've been privy to information on some free-to-play iOS titles whose monthly revenues would have them charting on NPD's top ten).

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