The Top 15 Best-Selling PC Games Of All Time

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Um, you have a screenshot of Starcraft 2, instead of one for Starcraft.
 

CoolBOBob1

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I would assumed that if Cataclysm was up there that every expansion of WoW would be up there. Since there was at least 12 million players during Wrath of the Lich King and whether or not they had the expansion they needed to have at least the original version.
 

acku

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Before we hear a lot of complaints, I'm going to head off some concerns. Like most PC game sale reports, we're looking only at retail sales. This doesn't count digital distribution networks or subscription figures. Those numbers are not publically available nor can they be confirmed with original sources. Second, we're counting the sales made at some store, be it online or physical, but it will be the box not the digital copy. Third, we treated expansion packs as separate titles.

I don't mind a bit of lively debate, but please keep your comments constructive or they will be deleted. Personal attacks do not help. If you want to call our choices into account, I'll be happy to listen and perhaps create a part 2 of this series.

Cheers,
Andrew Ku
TomsHardware.com
 

builder4

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That first picture would have been better suited to the iPad review.
"It's exactly the same as the iPad 2 except for the screen, but is heavier, thicker, runs hotter, has reduced battery life..."
"Shut up and take my money!"
 

acku

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Forgive me if I inserted the wrong picture, but I do believe the title says StarCraft II, which matches the StarCraft II picture.
 

acku

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I suppose I could have just made it 12 million, but we were looking at retail sales, not subscription figures cause that would really mess things up. Does 1 month of subscription = 1 sale? Not exactly. 1 month is like 15 bucks and a boxed game costs 50 odd bucks. That was why it was retail sales only. We should probably do a separate most popular MMORPGs list to cover that unique side of the gaming business.
 

conquerator

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Wow has 12 million subscribers each having bought a pc version of the game. This figure does not include a person who has left his membership.
 

conquerator

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I had a question over the source of this information, since these titles match up exactly with the information on Wikipedia.
 

acku

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Not all wow subscribers have the latest expansion remember. And as I stated, we're not counting digital distribution.

As for Wiki, it turns out, a significant number of those sources are misquoted. For example, Battlefield 2 didn't sell 11 million. The original statement by EA games referred to Bad Company series, and the BBC source wasn't a gamer and assumed Bad Company was BF2.
 

conquerator

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I don't understand you argument, when major publishers post their book sales do they disregard the number of books sold on tablets, and e-readers. Not all wow subscribers have the latest expansion but during an earlier expansion when there was no digital distribution for WOW, the game still had over 10 million people playing which means each one of them had bought the game.
 

acku

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Perhaps you're right, but then we'd have to also realign other game sales to compensate for that digital numbers, and that's difficult to do so. Valve for example doesn't publish their Steam sale data, and neither does EA for Origin. Even though it would be in their interests to do so.

As specifically for WoW, there's been a long running thread on this at http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/924016-Sales-numbers-for-Wow-and-X-pacs-do-not-match-the-12-million-subs . While I don't necessarily trust VGChartz when it comes to PCs, the various forum post include arguments from both camps.

I think you raise some excellent points, and it's perhaps something we should try to address better next time.
 

ibigs

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I wonder what the sales figures for the Civilization series are. I allways thought those were high on lists like this..
 

weatherdude

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Ahh... I love the title picture.

I've played a few of these games. The Sims I wasted too much time with. Starcraft I did not even legitimately beat. SimCity 3000 I invested plenty of time into. The unlimited version at least.

Anyways the picture for SimCity 3000 doesn't come from it. It looks like it comes from something much newer such as maybe SimCity 4 (never played don't know) or that yet-to-be released one.
 

acku

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As of 2008, I think the Civ series as a whole was 8 million. Don't quite remember the breakdown across each title though. They sold well in the first year, but some other games had better staying power so to speak, as far as sales go. I still think the earlier Civ games are a lot of fun myself.
 

acku

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I knew all those sales that the Modern Warfare series couldn't have been PC sales, considering how terrible they're getting :p
Yeah it was nearly all consoles according to NPD. But while BF3 did better on PCs, MW3 had better total sales cause console sales tipped the scales in its favor... sad I know.
 

acku

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Hmm. I could have sworn I uploaded a pic from SC3k, I'll upload a new one just to be sure. Thanks for pointing that out.


That is so true!
 

jezus53

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[citation][nom]acku[/nom]Hmm. I could have sworn I uploaded a pic from SC3k, I'll upload a new one just to be sure. Thanks for pointing that out.That is so true![/citation]

Nope, that's a shot from SimCity4. The roads are a dead give away along with the Police station in the top right corner. Yes, I've played a lot of SimCity 4...

As for the SC2 pic, that is from one of the very first release videos from like 2008. It was the one that demonstrated the new protoss units/abilities.
 
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