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US Charts: Resident Evil 4 and Mercenaries dominate January sales

Capcom's Resident Evil 4 and Lucasarts' Mercenaries both had hugely successful launches in the USA last month, but sales overall remained flat year on year as revenues from catalogue titles proved disappointing.

Capcom's Resident Evil 4 and Lucasarts' Mercenaries both had hugely successful launches in the USA last month, but sales overall remained flat year on year as revenues from catalogue titles proved disappointing.

GameCube exclusive Resident Evil 4 was the best selling game of the month, clocking up over 300,000 units - although with 200,000 units on the Xbox and over 180,000 on PS2, Mercenaries outstripped it in terms of cross-platform performance.

Take Two's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas continued to sell strongly, topping the PS2 rankings with over 240,000 units sold throughout January, while other pre-Christmas hits such as Need for Speed Underground 2 (over 140,000 units on PS2) and Halo 2 (almost 125,000 units) also sold well throughout the month.

Overall, however, the industry's software sales were flat on a year to year basis, with a decline in console game sales of six per cent being offset by a major rise of 41 per cent in handheld software sales thanks to the success of both GBA and Nintendo DS software.

Most analysts had expected sales to rise slightly, but in their reports on these latest figures, they stressed that investors are unlikely to be significantly troubled by the flat sales performance, as it has already been factored into the valuation of most companies.

Electronic Arts, however, was fingered as showing particularly poor figures - losing 7.3 per cent market share year on year, bringing it down to 18.9 per cent share compared with 26.2 per cent share in January 2004, which equates to an actual decline in revenues of 28 per cent.

On the converse side, Activision and THQ are widely seen as having outperformed estimates during the month, with Activision showing revenue growth of 37 per cent thanks largely to continued strong sales of Call of Duty: Finest Hour, while THQ had growth of 36 per cent, driven by healthy sales of The Punisher, WWE SmackDown Vs Raw and the company's kids' line up.

About the Author

Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.

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