While there’s no doubting that 2011 will go down as one of the busiest holiday seasons for games, there might be some wondering how each of those highly anticipated titles fared against each other. Thankfully, Amazon has released a breakdown of the ten most popular retail and the ten most popular digital titles this past year, and the results are somewhat surprising.
With a year that featured The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed, and Zelda all within the same month, one has to imagine much of the retail dollars made by each title came during the latter part of 2011. But each of those titles failed to crack the top spot, which of course went to another November release, Modern Warfare 3. After another banner year for Activision, the Call of Duty franchise just continues marching.
Coming in second, but how close of a second we do not know, was Ubisoft’s Just Dance 3, the only really casual title on the entire list (digital or physical). And rounding out the top 3 was Skyrim, a title hardcore gamers expected to be a hit, but not as universally accepted as it was.
On the digital side it was a different story, with Deus Ex: Human Revolution taking the top spot despite not even ranking on the physical media list. Perhaps the extensive amount of Black Friday sales that were offered for the game helped Deus Ex, a somewhat niche title, make it into a larger amount of gamers hard drives.
It was essentially a tale of titles that were best experience on the PC for the remainder of the list with Battlefield 3, Dead Island, and Crysis 2 all charting within the Top 10. As we’ve said before, games that are best experienced on the PC are beginning to grow in popularity, and that disparity’s only going to continue to grow into 2012.
To see where your favorites ranked, or if they did at all, check out the list below:
Physical (platforms are combined, but collector's editions are not included)
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
- Just Dance 3
- Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Battlefield 3
- Batman: Arkham City
- Madden NFL 12
- Portal 2
- Just Dance 2
- Gears of War 3
- FIFA Soccer 12
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution
- Battlefield 3
- The Sims 3
- Battlefield Bad Company 2
- Sid Meier's Civilization V
- Dead Island
- Total War: Shogun 2
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
- Crysis 2
- Dragon Age 2
2011 was absolutely a year to remember, not just for the games that were released but for the amount of titles that broke into the “mainstream.” The usual suspects were still able to muster enough sales to rank respectably high, but even some more unique titles were able to make a showing. Bravo to all those games that enjoyed a profitable 2011.
What games are you most surprised to see on either of the two lists? How many of these games did you purchase either in store or through digital distribution?