Hi! Welcome to the video game industry thread. Here we discuss things like sales figures, game development, studio closures, executive quotes, marketing and general business stuff. Also poop jokes. And frequent references to this:
IMPORTANT GUIDE TO DELVING INTO THE WORLD OF VIDJA GAME SALES WITHOUT HAVING A RAGE CORONARY
1. Quality =/= sales. Sometimes awful games sell tremendously well. Sometimes fantastic games sell horribly. Sure, quality can have an impact on game sales, but there's loads of other factors that can affect sales, like whether it has broad or niche appeal, marketing, production, system install base, competition, etc. etc. So when someone says "I don't think Game X will sell well," he's not necessarily saying "I think Game X will suck."
2. The overall game market ain't us. Remember, you're posting on a forum on a video game enthusiast website, so most of the posters tend to have (for lack of a better word) hardcore and/or niche interests. But the hardcore tend to be a fairly small element of the overall market. If we were, stuff like the Wii, Facebook games, etc. wouldn't have sold nearly as well as they did. So don't necessarily assume that, say, no one will willingly pay money for a Zumba game simply because you personally don't like Zumba.
3. The bar for success varies from game to game. Catherine sold 200,000 copies its first month, and it's considered a wild success. Battlefield 3 has sold 13 million, yet it's considered a bit of a disappointment. What gives? Loads of things can affect the terms of success for a game -- the game's development and marketing budgets, the size of its print run, whether its appeal is broad or niche, the expectations of the company, etc. In the case of Catherine, it was a ridiculously niche anime relationship block puzzler released by Atlus, a company that specializes in releasing extremely niche games that don't sell in great numbers. Battlefield 3, on the other hand, had a gigantic budget and EA expected it to outsell the latest Call of Duty.
4. Don't cite VGchartz. Ever. Pretty much everyone in this thread would love for a comprehensive sales stats site to exist, but this one isn't reliable. Not only do they make shit up (by their own admission), they usually get it wrong. Sometimes extremely wrong. VGchartz made a big deal about how Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was a huge bomb that only sold 100,000 in its first month for example, but then it turned out to have sold 600,000 copies. Woops. If you'd like more information about why they aren't reliable, go here
And now, March's NPD numbers.
NPD Group's U.S. Games Industry Sales (New Physical Sales Channel*) - March 2012
5-week month; March Reporting Period 2/26/12 through 3/31/12
Overall Retail Industry:
Down 25% year over year.
01. Mass Effect 3 (360, PS3, PC)** Electronic Arts - 1.18 Million excluding PC, 4:1 Xbox:PS3, over double ME2's opening
02. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (360, PS3)** Capcom USA - 582K
03. MLB 12: The Show (PS3, PSV) Sony (Corp)
04. NBA 2K12 (360, PS3, Wii, PSP, PC, PS2) Take 2 Interactive
05. SSX 2012 (360, PS3) Electronic Arts
06. Street Fighter X Tekken (PS3, 360)** Capcom USA
07. Mario Party 9 (Wii) Nintendo - 230K
08. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)** Activision Blizzard
09. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja (360, PS3) Namco Bandai Games
10. Major League Baseball 2K12 (360, PS3, Wii, NDS, PSP, PC, PS2) Take 2 Interactive
**(includes CE, GOTY editions, bundles, etc. but not those bundled with hardware)
XX. Kid Icarus - 135K
XX. Super Mario 3D Land - 100K
XX. Mario Kart 7 - 118K
SM3DLand: 1.98 Million
MK7: 1.58 Million
Xbox 360 - 371K (-14.3%)
PlayStation 3 - 337K (-7.7%) [PR Math]
Nintendo 3DS - 225K (-43.8%)
Nintendo Wii - 175K (-39.7%)