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Mortal Kombat makes April its bitch, leads big month for US gaming

Mortal Kombat is the king of all April games, say the number crunchers at The NPD Group. Selling just shy of 900,000 copies, the NetherRealm Studios reboot managed to supplant Pokemon Black/White as the industry's best-selling title(s), and lead a month that saw incredible gains for the US gaming industry in whole.

According to the report, the US video game market experienced an impressive 20% year-over-year growth in April, ending the traditionally slow month with $961.2 million in sales. Breaking it down further, NPD documented a 26% increasein software sales, totaling $503.2 million; a healthy 12% rise in hardware sales, totaling $279.9 million, and a cool20% gains for accessories, rounding out at $147.6 million.

April's gains were bolstered by a number of high-performing titles, includingthe top three sellers: Mortal Kombat, Portal 2 and Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars. As NPD analyst Anita Frazer explained: "The content slate was stronger this year versus last April. Five games sold more than 250,000 units in April 2011 as opposed to just two last April [Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction and Pokemon HeartGold Version]."

The complete top 10 list is as follows:

1- Mortal Kombat 2011 (Warner Bros. Interactive, PS3, Xbox 360)
2- Portal 2 (Electronic Arts, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
3- Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (LucasArts, Wii, NDS, 3DS, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
4- Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision Blizzard, Xbox 360, PS3, NDS, Wii, PC)
5- Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters (EA, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii)
6- Crysis 2 (EA, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
7- Just Dance 2 (Ubisoft, Wii)
8- Michael Jackson The Experience (Ubisoft, Xbox 360, Wii, PS3, NDS, PSP)
9- Pokemon White Version (Nintendo, NDS)
10- NBA 2K11 (Take Two Interactive, Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PS2, PC)

Turning to hardware, the Xbox 360 moved the most consoles with a total of 297,000 units – a 60% year-on-year increase for Microsoft. Asked what could have contributed to the Xbox 360's April dominance, Xbox Group Product Manager David Dennistold GameSpot: "I think it's continued momentum coming out of the holiday for us...We had a great run with Xbox and Kinect. It won 11 out of 12 months--we lost December by a small margin because we ran out of consoles because Kinect was on fire, and we picked that run up again in January. We've been the best-selling console so far this year in 2011."

The PS3 was the next best-selling console at 205K units, followed by the 3DS at 194K and the Wii at 172K.

[Source:USA Today,GameSpot]

May 13, 2011