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NPD Data On PC Games Stays the Course

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the neither-up-nor-down dept.

PC Games (Games) 25

Next Generation has a quick post about NPD's PC games data for 2006. The market was just about even, only increasing by about 1% to $970 million. World of Warcraft and The Sims were the two top-sellers last year, with WoW pushing about a million units and Sims titles occupying five of the top ten slots for the year. From the post: "PC games included, 2006 industry sales were up 18 percent compared to 2005, and 15 percent higher than the $10.5 billion generated in 2002, the former record-holding year. The PC numbers don't include subscriptions and paid online content. The NPD also revealed the top ten US retail PC titles of 2006 by units. WoW beat out second place The Sims 2 by a sizable margin, with EA's hit selling over 598,000 units (list placement includes special editions of applicable titles)."

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Sims! (4, Interesting)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17683266)

1. World of Warcraft (11/04, Vivendi)
      2. The Sims 2 (9/04, EA)
      3. The Sims 2: Open for Business exp. (3/06, EA)
      4. Star Wars: Empire at War (2/06, LucasArts)
      5. The Sims 2: Pets exp. (10/06, EA)
      6. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (3/06, Take Two)
      7. Age of Empires III (10/05, Microsoft)
      8. The Sims 2 Family Fun exp. (4/06, EA)
      9. Civilization IV (10/05, Take Two)
    10. The Sims 2 Nightlife exp. (9/05, EA)

Emph mine.

Ye Gods! I think it is really starting to sink in for me just how popular games are amongst people we would normaly classify as "non gamers" (as I have a hard time believing that a large portion of the people that bought the other games on the list ALSO bought the Sims games).

For the rest of it. No real surprise. My only real surprise wasn't the presance of The Sims, it was the presance of ALL of those expansion packs.

Re:Sims! (2, Interesting)

vonPoonBurGer (680105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17683644)

Popularity is relative. Sales numbers are not. If you measured gaming popularity amongst Slashdot readers, you'd find a high percentage of gamers, i.e. gaming is very popular in this site's core audience. If you measured popularity of games outside the traditional hardcore game audience, it's a relatively small number, but there are a *lot* more "non-gamers" out there. Electronic gaming still isn't all that popular a past-time compared to traditional forms of media, it's just that games like The Sims are starting to tap a much, much larger potential audience.

Re:Sims! (1)

shoptroll (544006) | more than 7 years ago | (#17683910)

Expansion packs sell very well for the popular games. I've got $5 that says Burning Crusade will be near WoW on the list this year. I don't think I've seen an expansion for a Blizzard game that isn't "Must own this with the original game" since Beyond the Dark Portal or (if you count it an official expansion) Hellfire.

Re:Sims! (2, Interesting)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17684050)

hehehe. I was going to have to bring up Hellfire!

I actualy predict we will see burning crusade at the top this year, with WoW next, or close behind it (remember, those 8 million or so account will need to upgrade, heck I will probably be picking up a copy and reupping my wow subscription at some point).

What is interestign to me about expansions is how well the Sims expansions do. I have NO interest in The Sims, so my view is obviously scewed, however what those expanssions add in does not seem like it is enough for a segnifican portion of the owners to pick them up (not every one is going to be interested in then ightlife, or buissnes stuff, pets? yah, pets is not surprising, but the others).

I am sorta wondering if The Sims 2 is artaficialy inflated, after all it is a 2 year old game, however there are 3 expansions that came out this year, and one last year that are on the list.

All kinda interestign to me (as I said, Zero Interest in The Sims).

Re:Sims! (2, Funny)

jfclavette (961511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17684408)

Because the people playing the Sims lack the savvy to pirate it while the more 'serious' gamers do it despite Slashdot's denial. There, I said it, burn karma, burn.

Re:Sims! (1)

Flendon (857337) | more than 7 years ago | (#17697906)

There were a half dozen torrents for Sims 2 and each expansion on PirateBay when I downloaded Pets last week... I mean when I looked them up after reading your comment just now!!

Sims Laptop soon. (2, Interesting)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17686642)

I bet you Sims Laptop [google.com] will be on the list soon. ;)

Re:Sims Laptop soon, but what else? (2, Insightful)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 7 years ago | (#17687294)

Actually it's called Sims Stories, designed to work on non-WinVista laptops and not worry about graphics problems, and there are three versions - check it out at the The Sims [sims2.com] website. But there's also Sims 2: Seasons in a couple of months.

Soon expect to see Sims 2: Spore and Sims 2: Curling, as well as the blockbuster Sims 2: World of Warcraft.

ZOMG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17683302)

So where is the piracy hurting that economic sector? I can not see it.

Of course, piracy has always been going on and if it would suddenly disappear, the sales would skyrocket to unknown altitudes, but that's a more or less constant factor.

Re:ZOMG? (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17690182)

So where is the piracy hurting that economic sector? I can not see it.

Maybe 5/10 games being of the more casual type, casual gamers being less likely to pirate?

Also, MMORGS are somewhat piracy resistant due to subscriptions.

However most important of all is that this is just a sorted list, piracy affects absolute numbers. Rampant piracy would not mean the there is no top ten, just that the total sales numbers are depressed. It would also be interesting to compare absolute numbers of a subscription based MMORG to the other titles that don't have the piracy resistance. Discrepancies there might reflect piracy to some degree.

Re:ZOMG? (1)

SP33doh (930735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17690340)

MMOs?

two words: private. servers.

"Stays the Course" (2, Funny)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#17683326)

Don't you hate it when stupid feel-good political codewords penetrate into mainstream usage?

"We need to stay the course"

Next year EA will announce that "we need to protect our gaming freedom from the terrorist competition"

State of PC Gaming... (0, Flamebait)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17683412)

Sims and WoW... No wonder PC gaming is in a funk.

Re:State of PC Gaming... (1)

Thanatos69 (993924) | more than 7 years ago | (#17683494)

PC games included, 2006 industry sales were up 18 percent compared to 2005, and 15 percent higher than the $10.5 billion generated in 2002


Funk indeed...

Re:State of PC Gaming... (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17683502)

No doubt. But I think part of the reason for this to 10 list was a dearth of good games released last year. One of the very few new games truly worth buying (Oblivion) did make that list. I think things will look a bit different on the list of top 10 games for 2007.

Re:State of PC Gaming... (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17683562)

exactly, this time the burnig crusade will be at the top!

However, you are right, there are a number of very good games with tentative release dates for this year. The problem is ofcourse that release dates are there to be missed.

Re:State of PC Gaming... (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17683650)

exactly, this time the burnig crusade will be at the top!
+1 Funny. Lol, all too true. :P

However, you are right, there are a number of very good games with tentative release dates for this year. The problem is ofcourse that release dates are there to be missed.
/sigh... sadly, that's also all too true. Hopefully we're wrong and someone actually manages to keep a release date for once.

Re:State of PC Gaming... (3, Funny)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17683868)

yah, +1 funny, -1 depressing.

Here [firingsquad.com] is the PC games Firing squad is looking forward to for 2007. Most of the release dates are still very vague (only 2 were narowed down to months, and one of those was Burning Crusade). We see alot of "Sometime 2007" and "First half of 2007", a few have the quarter listed, and Valve is in at "summer" (God let them hit that date, I want those 3 games!).

So, we will see. Mabey this will be the year we will all remember as "The year of compleated release dates"...

or not.

Re:State of PC Gaming... (2, Funny)

Jesterboy (106813) | more than 7 years ago | (#17685272)

Cheer up guys; I've got a good feeling about Duke Nukem Forever.

This is gonna be the year!

Re:State of PC Gaming... (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17685566)

i'm going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet

toy not with the fanboys, for they are rabid and bite.

Re:State of PC Gaming... (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17714766)

But I think part of the reason for this to 10 list was a dearth of good games released last year
It's not about good games, it's about games with big names or buzz.

Re:State of PC Gaming... (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17715924)

I have to disagree. Big name and buzz can help, but it's certainly not required. There's been a decent number of "small" games from indie developers that were so good they made the top 10.

So yes I still stand by my previous post. There really were very few games worth playing released last year (that is, of the games released early enough to have any real impact on sales for last year), and the few that were are all on the top 10 list.

Re:State of PC Gaming... (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17718498)

Big name and buzz can help, but it's certainly not required
Based on 2005 [gamasutra.com] , 2003 [pcvsconsole.com] , 2002 [gamespot.com] , 2001 [gamespot.com] (couldn't find 2004) I'd disagree. It's all sequels and big name tiles - The Sims, Warcraft, Age of *.

There really were very few games worth playing released last year (that is, of the games released early enough to have any real impact on sales for last year), and the few that were are all on the top 10 list.
I agree with that last part, most of the great games of 2006 were released late in the year (save for Galactic Civilizations 2 which didn't make the top 10 sales). Even then next year's list will still be dominated by the same names: Sims (3 or 4 spots), Warcraft, and Command & Conquer.

Re:State of PC Gaming... (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17723226)

Based on 2005, 2003, 2002, 2001 (couldn't find 2004) I'd disagree. It's all sequels and big name tiles - The Sims, Warcraft, Age of *.
Looking at those lists, I guess I'd say our difference is our definition of "big name and buzz". What I assumed you meant by those terms was games published by large publishers, and with plenty of advertising before the game was published. I see games on every one of those lists that do not meet those criteria.

NPD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17694538)

What the heck is NPD?

Non Player Character Data?

Nashville Police Department?

It does not matter how pretentiously "cool" your summary title is when it is totally incomprehensible.
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