World Of Warcraft Dominates Receding U.S. PC Retail In 2007

The Entertainment Software Association has highlighted new NPD data on the PC game market, following full-year analysis on the $18.85 billion dollar video game industry pertaining specifically to PC software sales.

Computer retail game sales in the United States totaled $910.7 million, or 36.4 million units, a decrease over last year's results, when PC games sold in a retail setting saw revenue of $970 million.

Following the ESA-trailed results, NPD released the top 10 best-selling PC games of 2007 to online outlets including Gamasutra, revealing two major franchises - Vivendi/Blizzard's World Of Warcraft and Electronic Arts' The Sims - dominating much of the charts. The full run-down is as follows:

1. World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Vivendi) - 2.25 million
2. World Of Warcraft (Vivendi) - 914,000
3. The Sims 2: Seasons Expansion Pack (Electronic Arts) - 433,000
4. Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Activision) - 383,000
5. Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars (Electronic Arts) - 343,000
6. Sim City 4 Deluxe (Electronic Arts) - 284,000
7. The Sims 2 (Electronic Arts) - 281,000
8. The Sims 2: Bon Voyage Expansion Pack (Electronic Arts) - 271,000
9. Age Of Empires III (Microsoft) - 259,000
10. The Sims 2: Pets Expansion Pack (Electronic Arts) - 236,000

However, digital downloads were not factored in to the NPD data, since the firm only tracks bricks-and-mortar retail sales currently, making it difficult to track exactly how the PC market is trending as a whole with the rise of casual games and even digital downloads for more 'hardcore' titles.

As an interesting aside, over both PC and console sales in 2007, NPD Group data also released by the ESA indicates that only 15.5 percent of games sold, in terms of unit sales, last year were rated "Mature".

This compared to the 56.5 percent of games sold rated "Everyone 10+" or lower and the 28 percent of "Teen"-rated games. The "Family Entertainment" genre grew 110 percent in 2007 to 17.2 percent of all games sold, up from 9.1 percent in 2006, according to the ESA.
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