'Call of Duty: Black Ops' is year's best-selling game

The videogame biz finally had something to celebrate in October, with game sales showing signs of growth a month before Activision Blizzard’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” became the bestselling game of the year.

Game sales were up 6% to $605 million for the month, with Take Two’s “NBA 2K11” the top-selling game across consoles. The bestseller for a single console was Bethesda’s “Fallout: New Vegas,” which moved 679,000 units on the Xbox 360. Electronic Arts’ “Medal of Honor,” Microsoft-exclusive “Fable III” and LucasArts’ “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” rounded out the top five.

It was the first month in which software sales increased since May.

When including hardware, the videogame industry was still down 4% to $1.1 billion for October, according to NPD Group. The games sector has been depressed for most of the year, with sales off by 8% to $11 billion.

Console and portable game systems dragged down the industry, with hardware demand off by 26% over last year.

NPD cautioned that its sales figures reflect new physical retail sales and don’t account for used game sales, rentals, social network games and mobile apps, which are said to now make up 30% of the videogames biz.

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