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Call of Duty Dethroned and Hogwarts Legacy Takes Top Spot in 2023

Move over Call of Duty, Hogwarts Legacy might have just cast a spell on the gaming charts. But, was it the magic of open-world wizardry or a protest against uninspiring warfare simulations? Let’s dive into the magical mayhem and dissect why wizards might be overtaking war zones in the hearts of gamers.

Call of Duty, a perennial chart-topper, faced an unexpected challenger in 2023, and it wasn’t from another war-torn battlefield. Hogwarts Legacy, despite stirring up controversy akin to a wizard’s cauldron, triumphantly claimed the crown, selling a whopping 22 million copies. But why did a game associated with J.K. Rowling, known for her controversial views, manage to outshine the military might of Activision?

Some argue that the allure of an open-world Harry Potter experience finally trumped any reservations. The promise of attending Hogwarts, crafting spells, and exploring the wizarding world proved irresistible for fans who had been waiting for decades. The controversy surrounding Rowling’s views and the game’s potential use of questionable tropes didn’t deter enthusiasts, showcasing the powerful pull of a long-awaited AAA wizardry title.

This upset in the gaming hierarchy is a rarity. Call of Duty has been a consistent chart-topper since 2009, only being dethroned twice by the cultural juggernauts Grand Theft Auto V (2013) and Red Dead Redemption 2 (2018). Some suggest that perhaps gamers are growing tired of the formulaic Call of Duty entries, with Modern Warfare III failing to inspire as its predecessors did.

Enter the Hyrule-sized elephant, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, ranking fifth in the 2023 charts. While Circana’s list only includes sales data up to September, Nintendo’s mysterious eShop numbers might hold the key to the ultimate chart-topper. Tears of the Kingdom sits a mere 2.5 million units away from dethroning Hogwarts Legacy, and with the holiday season figures yet to be revealed, it might just be the game to watch out for.

The top 20 games of 2023 also feature other heavyweights like Madden NFL 24 and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Interestingly, 2022’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 took the seventh spot, proving the franchise’s enduring popularity. And of course, there’s Mario Kart 8, a game seemingly immune to the laws of gaming charts, perennially securing a spot in the top 20.

GamePublisher
1° Hogwarts LegacyWarner Bros. Games
2° Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III (2023)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
3°Madden NFL 24 [EA Sports]Electronic Arts
4° Marvel’s Spider-Man 2Sony (Corp)
5° The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom*Nintendo
6° Diablo IVActivision Blizzard (Corp)
7° Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
8° Mortal Kombat 1Warner Bros. Games
9° Star Wars: Jedi: SurvivorElectronic Arts
10° EA Sports FC 24Electronic Arts
11° StarfieldMicrosoft (Corp)
12° Super Mario Bros. Wonder*Nintendo
13° Resident Evil 4 (2023)Capcom USA
14° MLB: The Show 23^Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
15° Dead Island 2Plaion
16° Final Fantasy XVISquare Enix Inc (Corp)
17° Street Fighter 6Capcom USA
18° Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
19° Mario Kart 8Nintendo
20° MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers

As we dissect the gaming landscape of 2023, the unexpected rise of Hogwarts Legacy raises questions about the evolving tastes of gamers. Is it a signal of fatigue from military shooters, or is the magic of Hogwarts simply too potent to resist? Only time, and perhaps a bit of wizardry, will reveal the true winner in the battle for gamers’ hearts.

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