For the past several years, Activision's Call of Duty franchise has been the videogame industry powerhouse — dominating the sales charts not only during the critical holiday sales period, but also carrying that momentum well into the following year.
In 2012, though, the franchise is showing signs of weakness.
While it's still a powerhouse that any publisher would love to have on its books, the latest installment in the series — "Modern Warfare 3" — isn't leading the sales charts in the days leading up to E3, the annual videogame industry trade show, despite a fairly light slate of new releases so far this year.
And that's just one of several surprises in this year's list of the top-selling games at retail outlets, as ranked by The NPD Group. Rankings were taken from sales between January and April — the most recent reporting month. (Due to agreements with publishers, NPD does not publicly release hard sales numbers.)
By Chris Morris, Special to CNBC.com
Posted 1 June 2012