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Batman: Arkham City ships 4.6 million, becomes biggest game of the year

For the second time in just over a month, there is a new best-selling game of the year. Last month the crown went to Gears of War 3 after it shipped more than 3 million copies in its opening week. Epic Games’ title has since gone on to sell more than 4 million copies in a month, but even that number has been eclipsed.

In its first week, Batman: Arkham City has shipped 4.6 million copies worldwide, making it the biggest release of the year. Bolstered by good word of mouth and impressive reviews, the sequel has sold more copies in its first week than the original did in total–Batman: Arkham Asylum went on to sell around 3.5 million copies, 2 million of which came in its first week. With Christmas approaching, and the PC version still a month away, Batman: Arkham City‘s sales figures should continue to grow.

That’s good news for the gaming industry after several months of poor software sales. With two massive hits within the last two months the industry is looking up, plus four of what are expected to be even bigger hits have yet to make an impact—with the exception of Battlefield 3 which is out now, but it is too early to know the sale figures. Then next month Assassin’s Creed: Revelations and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword are due, but both will be released after what will certainly be the biggest title of the year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. And that isn’t even counting Uncharted 3, Saints Row: The Third, Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Star Wars: The Old Republic and a handful of others.

Batman: Arkham City hit shelves on October 18 for PS3 and Xbox 360, but the PC version won’t be released until November 23.