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Top 20 PC Games of 2008. In N. America. In Retail.

We're not going to let a little fact like us strenuously and repeatedly arguing against the validity of NPD's statistics regarding PC Gaming cause us to not post something fun like this. NPD have provided IGN a list of the Top 20 PC Games sold in... oh, you can read the post title, yeah? You'll find them and a little commentary beneath the cut...

1. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Expansion Pack
2. Spore
3. World of Warcraft: Battle Chest
4. Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures
5. Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning
6. Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
7. The Sims 2 Double Deluxe
8. World Of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King Exp Pk Collector's Ed
9. Fallout 3
10. World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Expansion Pack
11. Call Of Duty: World At War
12. The Sims 2 FreeTime Expansion Pack
13. World Of Warcraft
14. Sins Of A Solar Empire
15. Warcraft III Battle Chest
16. The Sims 2 Apartment Life Expansion Pack
17. Crysis
18. Left 4 Dead
19. Diablo Battle Chest
20. The Orange Box

Yes, it appears that Blizzard are very rich.

Worth re-stressing that none of this includes online sales. That's clearly going to impact people like Valve who you suspect have a more-than-average level of sales through that channel - Left 4 Dead's actually a top 10 game on the 360 where there's no online sales to worry about, for example (Which I suspect has surprised quite a few people - there was an assumption that Left 4 Dead would fall on its face amongst many console journalists I know. The power of a really fucking good game, eh?).

Back to Blizzard... yeah, they're very rich. World of Warcraft's positions are to be expected, perhaps - those millions of players have to come from somewhere - but seeing Warcraft III remain the second-best selling RTS of the year is enormously impressive. While it's always been successful, you suspect that the Brand-value of the whole World of Warcraft phenonema is leveraging into Warcraft III's continuing success. In the same way that they sell Warcraft books and comics and whatever, they're selling Warcraft III. That it's a really good RTS game, of course, can't hurt.

Most heart-warming position has to be Sins of a Solar Empire. Also another big online seller by all accounts, but it being the biggest RTS game of the year is incredible news for Stardock and Ironclad. It's about as PC a game as you can get, and a novel and unique experience. Yay them.

Biggest selling FPS? Call of Duty 4, which shows what a juggernaut it is. While not the monster it was on the 360, that's a lot of money for them. Call of Duty: World at War also shows its face. And Crysis and Orange Box are two other 2007 releases which has continued to sell. I think it was Jim who suspected Crysis would have some legs to it, as people who buy PCs buy it just to see what their new beasts can do.

The third and fourth positions are interesting - Age of Conan beating Warhammer Online. Probably worth remembering that Age of Conan had a good five months lead over Mythic's game to get those sales, but still noteworthy. With Fallout 3 down in ninth place, the predominance of the MMO over more traditional RPGs continue. And that Fallout 3 is the closest thing to a traditional RPG on the list also says much.

And people are still buying the Sims.

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