May NPD: L.A. Noire enjoys top spot while the industry heads for the gutter

May was a decent month for inquisitive detectives, futuristic refugees and toy pirates, but not so much so for the video game industry in whole. This is according to the bean counters at NPD, whose latest North American sales report reveals L.A Noire, Brink and Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game as bestselling games in a month that saw significant dips in hardware and software sales across the board.

It's not entirely doom and gloom, but it's not entirely great either. NPD reports overall video game spending decreased by 13% year-over-year, dropping from May 2010's total of US$829 million to US$718.8 million. Elsewhere, the firm reported a 5% dip in hardware sales, and a dramatic 19% decline in video game software sales, the steepest decline for the industry in nearly 5 years.

Above:  What's the matter, pal?  You never seen the industry take a beating before?

So that's the so-so news. On the upside, if your business card currently reads Rockstar (the studio, not the actually profession...although the latter would be cool, too), Splash Damage, or TT Games, then you may have cause to crack open a celebratory (non-alcoholic) drink today. Here's the top 10 bestsellers in full:

1. L.A. Noire (Rockstar - 360, PS3)
2. Brink (Splash Damage - 360, PS3, PC)
3. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (TT Games - All)
4. Portal 2 (Valve - 360, PS3, PC)
5. Mortal Kombat 2011 ( NetherRealm Studios - PS3, 360)
6. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Teyarch - 360, PS3, Wii, NDS, PC)
7. Zumba Fitness: Join the Party (Pipeworks Software - Wii, 360, PS3)
8. NBA 2K11 (Visual Concepts - 360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, PC)
9. Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft - Wii)
10. Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Traveller's Tales – All)

Of particular note is the absence of any Nintendo brand games in the top 10. NPD also described the sales of the newly launched 3DS to be "light". Reversely, Microsoft appears to be doing quite well for itself, as NPD reports the Xbox 360 continued its 11-month run as the number one selling console with the sale of over 270,000 units.

There you have it – your fanboy fuel for another month. Any surprises?

Jun 14, 2011


  • Yeager1122 - June 15, 2011 1:13 a.m.

    I for one am waiting for later games just to many good things coming out later cant spend all my money on games.
  • RedOutlive10 - June 14, 2011 8:50 p.m.

    @AlbVega Can't stress it enough. All LEGO games are shitty toy tie ins with the same tried and true horribad mechanics and gameplay, yet every kid rushes to buy them and you wonder why you don't have original games like Psychonauts in the works. It's our fault, people.
  • AlbVega - June 14, 2011 8:35 p.m.

    Lego Pirates sold more than Portal 2. I hate this world.
  • stephenliggio - June 14, 2011 7:21 p.m.

    What a stupid headline. The industry is not heading for the gutter, it's just a lack of quality game releases, and the wii's momentum loss. Last may Red Dead Redemption, Alan Wake, Super Mario Galaxy 2, UFC 2010 (which was a million game seller), and New Super Mario Bros. Wii was selling like hotcakes still.
  • BurntToShreds - June 14, 2011 5:09 p.m.

    There's always a summer lull in the game industry, kind of. Shadows of the Damned comes out on the 21st, same day as FEAR 3. Idunno which one I should get.
  • TheCakeIsaPie - June 14, 2011 4:59 p.m.

    Not everybody has $60 buck, to blow on a whim for every new game that comes out, that and piracy is terribly easy nowadays. Hey, you're right! I just pirated your comment!
  • insertdisk - June 14, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    Prices for games are too high and the summer has rolled in so sales will probably drop. Some games could do with being brought forward however. I can't imagine releasing MW3 Battlefield batman Skyrim andn probably some more that slip my mind right now, all at the same time can be a good thing for the industry.
  • threedog - June 14, 2011 4:57 p.m.

    This is a real slow time for games, so I'm not surprised that the software purchasing has dipped. Let's hope it spikes back up to normal for the holiday season. By the way, Treyarch is spelled wrong.
  • Odpaterson - June 14, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    Probably due to people saving for later in the summer. There're some serious heavy hitters out there. I for one won't have the time or money for all of them.
  • BALLSTOTHEWALLET - June 14, 2011 4:44 p.m.

    Not everybody has $60 buck, to blow on a whim for every new game that comes out, that and piracy is terribly easy nowadays.
  • bunzelbiscit - June 14, 2011 4:42 p.m.

    actually got first go Microsoft for dominating people for 11 months straight

Showing 1-11 of 11 comments

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