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 thebean countersat 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 industryin nearly5 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

Matt Bradford wrote news and features here at GamesRadar+ until 2016. Since then he's gone on to work with the Guinness World Records, acting as writer and researcher for the annual Gamer's Edition series of books, and has worked as an editor, technical writer, and voice actor. Matt is now a freelance journalist and editor, generating copy across a multitude of industries.