The Year's Best-Selling Games (cont'd)

 

Number 2: Diablo 2

Units sold: 790,285
Gross income: $41,051,565

Blizzard sold more copies of Diablo 2 in its first weekend of sales than they did copies of Starcraft for that game's entire first month. It's the fastest selling PC game ever. The crush of sales also buried Battle.net; many players were frustated with not being able to log on to play online, having servers crash or otherwise be inaccessible. Blizzard also created a mini-controversy when they rebalanced the game by weakening a few key skills for the Barbarian and Necromancer. In other words, Blizzard got a taste of the medicine that the MMORPG game companies such as Verant and Origin have been taking for the past couple of years. Most players either love this game or hate it, and as good as this game is, it didn't arrive with the same impact that the first game did. This year Blizzard will release an expansion for Diablo 2 that should continue to keep the game near the top of the sales charts. Oh, and these figures don't include the $4,470,223 that gamers spent to buy the Diablo 2 Collector's Edition.

 

Number 1: The Sims

Units sold: 1,207,313
Gross income: $50,773,114

Last year will forever be known as the year that a urination sim dominated the charts. Since we're the type of guys who like to shut the door when we go, The Sims had dubious appeal to us. One of us, the married one, can attest to its nearly demonic ability to captivate those who like to watch, however, as his wife and children continually fought over who would get to play it next. It is ingenious. The Sim families are smart enough to be unpredictable and fascinating, but dumb enough to continually need guidance and babysitting. The Sims also does a balancing act between being a game with goals (get that promotion, get that new piece of furniture, get your Sim a mate, etc.) and a non-game (how do I "win"?). The Sims Livin Large Expansion Pack also has done well, selling 263,076 copies for a gross income of $6,990,752. This year, 2001, promises to be a Sims year yet again with EA releasing Simsville and continuing to work on a massively-multiplayer version. You know a game has tapped into the mainstream when it's part of a gag on a sit-com, as The Sims was on a recent Drew Carey episode.

 

 

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