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Call of Duty: Black Ops may hold the crown for bestselling videogame in US history, but a more recent study by retail analyst firm NPD has pegged Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as the highest grossing US title of all time. What's the difference? Cash money, yo. But like any study that claims to rank the best of anything, this particular report comes with a crap ton of caveats.
The list of top 10 best money makers was released this week, and shows Guitar Hero III edging out Black Ops by little more than $40 million. Here it is in full:
1. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock -- $830.9 million
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops -- $787.4 million
3. Wii Fit -- $736.6 million
4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 -- $713.6 million
5. Rock Band -- $670.7 million
6. Wii Play (bundled with Wii remote)
7. Guitar Hero World Tour
8. Wii Fit Plus
9. Mario Kart Wii (with wheel)
10. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
It's important to note the list reflects retail sales only, and neglects to include the dollar take for games sold in bundles. It also fails to count games sold before 1995, or adjust for inflation, the disparity in game prices, retail periods, and any monies earned from the sale of digital content (much to the chagrin of EA). If it did, this list would look a lot different, and games likes Super Mario Bros. (the original or the third, take your pick) would be kicking everyone's ass.
All said, this report is more of a snapshot of the last fifteen years than a summary of the entire history of gaming. And in its effort to provide relevant data concerning the current videogame market, it's clear NPD chose to operate within very tight boundaries.
Mar 25, 2011
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Call of Duty: Black Ops becomes best-selling game in US history
Treyarch's latest knocks Wii Play from top spot in America
Nintendo DS now the best-selling game system in the US
47 million units sold since the handheld system first launched in 2004
EA calls shenanigans over NPD's lack of digital game sales
Company exec calls industry tracker data a "misrepresentation"
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