While video game sales totals have been anyone's guess for the past few years, the rankings on the video game industry's sales charts have been fairly predictable.
Megafranchises like "Call of Duty" and "Assassin's Creed" have been at or near the top—with family friendly "Just Dance" not too far behind when the final rankings come in. And the midyear check typically doesn't show a lot of divergence from that pattern.
As the industry prepares to shake up the hardware field, though, there are signs of change in software as well. One of those three franchises is absent from the list of the year's best-selling games at retail outlets. Rankings were taken from sales figures from January through the end of April, the most recent reporting period for NPD Group.
Because of agreements with publishers, NPD does not publicly release hard sales numbers—but the changes in the lineup indicate players are ready for something new—which is certainly music to the ears of console makers and publishers that are preparing to debut fresh franchises in the months to come.
By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com
Posted 7 June 2013