This is not a surprise, April was a rather weak month for games after the large splash Mass Effect 3 and others did in March.
Activision action game and Kinect Star Wars top NPD sales charts as total retail revenues decline 32 percent year-over-year; Xbox 360 tops console sales for 16th straight month.
Prototype 2 has followed in its predecessor's footsteps, right down to the part where it tops the sales charts during a brutal month for the industry as a whole.
The NPD Group today released its US retail sales charts for the month of April, revealing Prototype 2 as the best-selling piece of software during a month that saw total game industry sales at stores down 32 percent year-over-year. The original Prototype topped the sales charts for its launch month of July 2009, during which industry-wide sales declined 31 percent.
Beyond Prototype 2, the only April releases to hit the chart were Kinect Star Wars and The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings - Enhanced Edition for the Xbox 360. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 also debuted on the charts, though it was released at the very end of March. The best-selling catalog title was Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which rebounded from its eighth-place finish in March.
On the hardware front, the Xbox 360 was the best-selling console for the 16th straight month, with Microsoft confirming it sold 236,000 systems in April. The Kinect Star Wars bundle system was particularly popular, with the NPD Group attributing the premium-priced package with helping to boost the average selling price of game hardware year-over-year. Despite that boost, hardware sales were still down 32 percent to $189.7 million.
"I think what the new physical retail content sales reflect a very light release schedule in terms of the amount of compelling new games," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement accompanying the numbers. "Last April, the top seven titles outsold the top-selling title this year, and, simply stated, there were notably fewer new market introductions. I think it's [as] simple as that because when we see compelling content come into the market, the games are still selling as well as ever--we just saw a lot less this April as compared to last."
APRIL 2012 US GAME SALES
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total consumer spend (rentals, used sales, digital estimates included): $1 billion
Total retail sales: $630.4 million (-32%)
Non-PC hardware: $189.7 million (-32%)
Non-PC software: $292.1 million (-42%)
Total software: $307.2 million (-42%)
Accessories: $148.6 million (+1%)
TOP 10 GAMES FOR APRIL 2012
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Prototype 2 (X360, PS3) - Activision
2. Star Wars Kinect (X360) - Microsoft
3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (X360, PS3, Wii, PC) - Activision
4. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 (X360, PS3) - Electronic Arts
5. NBA 2K12 (X360, PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, PC) - Take-Two
6. The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings - Enhanced Edition (X360) - Warner Bros.
7. Mario Party 9 (Wii) - Nintendo
8. Mass Effect 3 (X360, PS3, PC) - Electronic Arts
9. Just Dance 3 (Wii, X360, PS3) - Ubisoft
10. MLB 12: The Show (PS3, PSV) - Sony
wow witcher didnt get top honors prototype is horrible i thought the last game was stupid i did however finish it never to play it again. and this looks to be more of the same a hot mess.
This shows perfectly what's wrong with the industry. Except for Witcher 2, none of those Top 10 games got to the top because of quality. It's all marketing that got them there.
i am still right :P. 360 outsells all. is there any chance they wont outsell every1 till next gen like i said???? with killer games like star wars kinect i highly doubt it :)
I'm no longer amazed when I hear that someone in the industry is spinning news to make everything seem OK. It's NOT ok. The economy is still quite bad :(
@digi-demon Yeah, what a win -- down 20% year-over-year and the only new first-party presence on the system is a pile of motion control shit with a Star Wars badge attached to it. Looks a lot like what we saw with the Wii, if you ask me, which is disgusting given how amazing the 360 used to be.
@ExplicitMike Protoype 2 is multiplatform, so no surprise there. Kinect Star Wars sold a lot to families with younger kids, and it's Star Wars. Witcher 2, which amazing, is an RPG and a PC port, which limits the audience.
@ExplicitMike Don't looks at me, I didn't buy those two games. XD
@mralspsp I am not looking at you. It's the casual players at work here. Is a sad day when BS like Kinect Star Wars is more successful than real games. I mean look at the top 3.
@BestJinjo Yeah basically what you said. Not everyone has PC for gaming. My point was that Xbox360 owners that don't have a gaming rig owe it to themselves to check out Witcher 2 is an amazing complex game. I think it should on PC, PS3, and XBOX360. Funny thing is most people I talked to on Xbox live think the game is 360 exclusive. Even tho is been on on PC for while.
@KingKnight1337 Ok but there are 66 million Xbox owners. You are telling me most of them own a gaming PC that's good enough to run Witcher 2? Also, hardcore gamers would have almost no reason to own Xbox 360 in the first place since it has poor exclusives vs. PS3 and all the cross-platform games that 360 has are already better on the PC. Therefore, actually more likely than not I would bet that most Xbox360 owners do not have a gaming PC that's capable of playing Witcher 2.
Looking at the sales of Dark Souls vs. Resident Evil Operation Racoon City, if anything Xbox 360 gamers just want brainless shooters like COD and don't want complex challenging games with a solid single player campaign that Witcher 2 offers. Also, given how well Kinect Star Wars sold, it seems a huge majority of Xbox360 users are young kids (which is cool), but it shows that CD Project should have released the game on the PS3 instead.
@ExplicitMike The Witcher 2 has been out on the PC since mid last year! Hardcore Gamers have already had the chance to play it that's probably why it didn't sell more than Prototype and Kinect Star Wars.
I couln't care less about releases on both xbox and ps3, there's nothing new, all years the same games about the same stuff...why?, because those "developers" thought that DLC and "casual gaming" tactics would payoff forever.
Guess what?, "casual gamers" were that "casual" that they don't pay or play anymore, and we the "hardcore" pc, xbox, ps3 players got tired of the EXTREME casualness of games, that's why Skyrim still sells, because is the closest thing to old PC gaming with mods and low DRM above all (not thanks to DLC).
So go on, about how wonderful another COD XXV is, the fact is that if these guys don't find or do anything new with games, the money will stop going into their bank account.
JUST LOOK AT THAT LIST OF GAMES!!!! the only game worth a dime there is the witcher 2, and its an old game on pc.....sad times, I'll jus play diablo 3 until these guys get it thogether....
.....modern warfare 3....I played something like it in 2007, I'm REALLY tired of that now.
Also, if companies would stop dog-piling all their releases with the holiday season and spread them out a bit better, they MIGHT do a little better all around.
Prices are too high for systems. Less systems = less software sales. As mature as the current consoles are, they really, REALLY need to be at least $100 less than what they're going for now. The PS2 was $129 by this point, after all.
Additionally, while I love AAA-development as much as the next gamer, companies need to address the simple fact that high-cost games with high-cost price-tags are not great in the current economic climate. I think there needs to be a focused effort on getting good quality games out, new, for $40. Yes, that means lower budgets and not as pretty, but something has to give. Its easier to recoup costs on a $10 million game than it is a $30 million one, and honestly?
This is the point where a console is supposed to be widely mass-market, with titles for all ages, all price points. The costs of this generation have kept prices up high for hardware and software, and when coupled with the economy? Yeah, no wonder things are slowing down... the market is saturated at the current price points.
It's sad to see the Witcher 2 not getting good love. CD projekt red really did good by Xbox users by releasing it on the console. I never played it on PC and picked it up immediately. It was refreshing to have a story I really could dig into after playing so many other games where that takes a backseat.
Im so glad the somewhat low score that both Gamespot and IGN gave to Prototype 2 was ignored by the majority of gamers.It's a great, fun game.
@carloscanalesv I know right. The thing is,there is a lot wrong with the industry,but the real problem is gamers are pointing fingers in the wrong directions.
Star Wars Kinect is second? Wow, I guess people really DID want to dance as Han Solo in the carbonite chamber.
@Boddicker It's not the developers who get to choose the price point. It's Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. And you are crazy if you think they are going to lower the price just because they blocked out used games. Nothing will change because we will have no other choice.
@howie1926 @Boddicker No, developers choose the price point. The cost of games has always been in the developers' hands. With the power of the 360 and PS3 being so high above last gen, production cost has gone thru the roof and this is why you get a $60 price point for most games on the 360 and PS3. The same goes for the Wii with production cost being much less and a price point of $50 for most games. Sony, MS and Nintendo will get their money no matter how much a developers sells it for.
@tmorri603 @howie1926 @Boddicker Actually you are NOT correct, at least not 100% correct. Ultimately it is the publisher that determines the price, not the developer or the console manufacturer, though both have an influence on it. All the manufacturers have a licensing fee for their systems which varies, which adds to the cost over a PC or Mac game. And the console manufacturers can also influnce the price directly - case in point where Microsoft has made Valve charge for Left 4 Dead content and the same policy prevented any updated content to the Orange Box/Team Fortress 2. Same thing happened to Epic and Gears of War maps. Then there was the whole pricing of Halo:ODST - Bungie (developer) originally had it planned as a cheap, $30 campaign expansion but Microsoft stepped in and it became a full price game.
But the final say goes to the publisher as they control the funding for the project (in most cases), print & press, distribute, and advertise the product.
This is why I think next gen consoles blocking used would be a good thing. Developers would be able to lower prices and stray from formulaic and dumbed down games. Win/win for both parties involved.
Are you that naive? If they (the publishers) have complete control of their market, either by digital sales or blocking used titles, there will be no price reduction. They will only use it as a way to increase their profit margin. If anything we will see prices stay at a higher price point for a longer time, as can be seen by many titles on PSN and Xbox Live. We have seen promises such as digital distribution would decrease cost to the gamer as well as removing manuals and such, but that savings has never been passed on to the consumer, only the company's bottom line.
Prototype 2 is a really good game. I was very impressed I never even played the first one soo i took a gamble.
It's be hard to post UK figures when they don't collate such information... I'd say neck and neck between PS3 and 360... lots of people still boycotting the PS3 over the way Sony treat European users... later launches, higher prices, features removed... and so on.
One of these days Gamespot.co.uk will actually do us the pleasant service of providing figures for the UK industry..
Prototype 2 may not be the smartest game around but its alot of fun. I enjoy a good story but not every game needs to have one or have a plot full of twists and turns. Lets relax for a while and slaughter some pixels.... :D
Just looking at that top ten is a clear indicator of why sales have been so dismal. All of those games are pretty bad, with the exception of The Witcher 2 (which most people who want to play will have played on the PC) and the acceptable Mass Effect 3.
I was browsing around for a good game yesterday and I came home with a Bluray instead. It's THAT bad.
So do preorders don't count as sales until a game is actually released? That by itself probably would have made D3 the most popular game of the month.
Regardless, May is going to be huge month for sales just from D3 alone.
Also I wonder how Online Multiplayer has impacted sales. If people play the same game (a la CoD) for a year how many other new games do they actually buy? THe industry may be humping itself.
Prototype 2 outsold the Witcher? Wow.
I wish just once they would factor in the 360 replacement rate into it's sales. I know people on their 6th Xbox.
@Uesugi-dono cos then we'd have to do the same for the ps3 sales as well and the results would be the same. Perhaps not so much with the wii but then i dont suppose dust causes much damage does it? ;)
If u know ppl that are on their 6th xbox, i'd advise them to stop dropping their bucket sized cola's all over them :p
Prototype is available on multiple platforms (360/PS3/PC) whereas The Witcher and Kinect Star Wars are only available on one platform. So obviously there is more likelihood that the multiplatform game would outsell the exclusive titles unless it really sucked.
@Uesugi-dono And what sense would that make? I am so tired of these Sony fanboys coming in here stating crap like "All the 360 sales are just people replacing their RROD". If it is a warranty replacement, it would not be a new sale - IT IS A FREE REPLACEMENT. If someone is buying a new or second system, then it doesn't matter what platform they bought. I had several 360 replaced under warranty (had a launch system), and none of the three replacements should count as sales as no money exchanged hands. I also recently bought a second system (Gears Console) for a different room - still a sale even though it is to a person who already had one (I just have 2 now).
Not if your warranty has expired, dude. Don't be a denialist; the fail rate is a real thing. I selected the 360 first this generation but, I admit, I've migrated away from it.
@Uesugi-dono Myself and all my friends had already played Witcher on PC. There was no reason to shell out more money to play it again on my 360. What exactly does 360 replacement rate have to do with it? Star Wars Kinect which is 360 only outsold it also....
@Uesugi-dono And thats why Online Passes SUCK! you need to buy them again
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