It took less than two months at retail for "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" to become Xbox Live's most played online multiplayer game of 2012, accruing more unique users per day over six weeks than predecessor "Modern Warfare 3" accumulated over fifty-two.
Customers wait in line for the midnight release of "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" on November 12, 2012
Earlier in the year, "Minecraft" studio Mojang confirmed that the Xbox 360 version of its PC and mobile sensation had sold just over 5 million copies throughout 2012, its family-friendly nature in contrast to the "Call of Duty" series's mature age ratings.
That 5 million was enough to see "Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition" become the Xbox 360's fourth most played online game of the year, while Xbox 360 exclusive "Halo 4" was in third and 2010's "Black Ops" was fifth.
Even the three-year-old "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" made the top ten, underlining the significance of Activision's franchise to Microsoft: an agreement between the two ensures that downloadable content arrives on Xbox 360 first, before being made available to PlayStation and PC users.
Electronic Arts' sports division enjoyed a double-header with "FIFA Soccer 13" and "12" in 6th and 7th place respectively; "Madden NFL 13" was 14th and fellow publisher 2K Sports saw basketball titles "NBA 2K13" and "2K12" net 16th and 17th.
Also hovering outside the top ten were "Borderlands 2," "Assassin's Creed III," "Skyrim" and "Gears of War 3."
The positively geriatric four-year-old "Grand Theft Auto IV" placed 19th and, in a separate chart, was the most popular PC game to use Microsoft's Games for Windows system -- so get ready for huge "GTA V" hype in 2013.
Xbox 360 Top 10 Live Titles, 2012
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
3. Halo 4
4. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops
6. FIFA Soccer 13
7. FIFA Soccer 12
8. Battlefield 3
9. Halo: Reach
10. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
For more Xbox Live charts, including Xbox Live Arcade, Xbox Live Indie Games and Games for Windows, see majornelson.com/2013/01/22/top-games-of-2012
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