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The NPD numbers are in (mostly) and they tell a very straightforward story about Rockstar's prince of gaming brands, Grand Theft Auto. The September sales of software were almost single-handedly carried by Grand Theft Auto V, which made up for more than 50% of the total software sales throughout the month.
According to GamesIndustry.biz, the NPD numbers for September are out and available and the chart topper was none other than the game about stealing, killing, car-thieving and causing more mayhem than the 1992 Los Angeles riot.
The game originally hit the $1 billion mark in record time, just three days after having released for the Xbox 360 and PS3. GTA V managed to hit the billion-dollar mark despite a week prior to its release the game was leaked to torrent sites and sparked massive amounts of illegal downloads, measuring at more than 100,000 in just a few days of being available on torrent sites.
Nevertheless, pesky console pirates and console pirates alone, couldn't stop Rockstar from making bank and whistling their way to the local teller to cash some serious checks on the brand.
According to NPD, GTA V helped 2013 climb an impressive 27 percent over the previous year for a month's total in North America, to $1.079 billion.
Portable software sales barely exceeded $745 million, and accessories and hardware were both down, with accessories dropping by 13 percent to $183.2 million.
Not looking to steal the spotlight from Rockstar's end-of-summer beast, the rest of the NPD rounded out with games like Madden NFL 25 coming in second place, Take-Two's NBA 2K14 in third, Diablo III in fourth, FIFA 14 in fifth, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX for PS3 in sixth, Disney Infinity for every major platform coming in seventh, NHL 14 grabbing the eighth spot, Minecraft on the 360 coming in ninth (which is extremely impressive for a game without a strong marketing campaign) and Saints Row IV managing to hold on to the tenth spot like the Kardashians trying to hold on to what little fame they have left.
Sadly, there's no digital rollout of how well these games sold in comparison to other PC titles, otherwise I would have loved to have seen how a game like Total War or Arma 3 measured up on the list alongside some of those other titles.
Anyway, I'm sure if Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo are feeling confident we'll get hard numbers on actual console sales. The only thing we know for sure is that Sony's PS3 did outsell the Xbox 360 in the previous month, but again, there is a lack of hard numbers made available.
October will probably be a very interesting month given that there aren't a whole lot of hard hitters dropping until November. What's more is that a lot of people have probably pre-ordered most cross-gen games for next-gen consoles, so I'm definitely intrigued to see how well (or how far) October goes in terms of software sales.
Of course, the real month to watch will be December, because that's when all the sparks will fly and the consoles will have been released to the market.