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NPD March Sales


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After months of explosive growth, the US game industry has officially hit a stumbling block. Today, the NPD Group reported that in March, domestic retail game sales decreased year-over-year for the first time since last September's 7 percent dip. The drop was more dramatic last month, however, which saw sales of non-PC game software, hardware and accessories contract 17 percent from $1.72 billion in March 2008 to $1.43 billion in March 2009.

residentevil5_bullhorn812_embed.jpg.Spokesmen said the Umbrella Corporation was pleased with Resident Evil 5's sales.

But while skyrocketing unemployment numbers and tightening wallets certainly played a part, NPD analyst Anita Frazier pointed out several other factors behind the drop. "First, Easter fell in March last year whereas it fell in April this year, and last March included the release of Super Smash Bros.: Brawl, which went on to become the fourth best-selling game in 2008," she pointed out. Indeed, Electronic Entertainment Design and Research director of research Jesse Divnich called March 2008 a "perfect storm" for game sales, with the hits Rainbow Six Vegas 2 and Army of Two wooing more hardcore gamers uninterested in Smash Bros. Brawl.

Indeed, software sales mirrored the overall US game-industry shrinkage, falling 17 percent from $952.14 million (2008) to $792.83 million (2009). One reason for the shortfall was an event Divnich also forecast --the Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars only selling in the 200,000-unit range. Although one of the best-reviewed games on the DS, the Rockstar Games offering didn't even crack the top 10, falling behind critically drubbed 10th-place finisher Major League Baseball 2K9, which sold only 205,000 units on the Xbox 360.

The month's software top wash was dominated by title as violent as any Grand Theft Auto title, Resident Evil 5. The Xbox 360 version of Capcom's controversial horror-survival game took first place with 938,000 units sold, followed by the PlayStation 3 version's 585,000 units (4th) for a total 1.52 million units--a series best debut.

Coming in second place was the latest entrant in the Pokemon phenomenon, Pokemon Platinum. In third was the Xbox 360 exclusive Halo Wars, which overcame lukewarm reviews to sell an impressive 639,000 units. In fifth place was last month's top dog, Wii Fit, with 541,000 units, followed by two critically lauded PS3 titles: MLB 09: The Show and Killzone 2, which sold 305,000 and 296,000 copies, respectively. Eighth place belonged to the Wii Remote-bundled Wii Play and ninth was all about Mario Kart Wii, which itself comes with the Wii Steering Wheel peripheral.

By Frazier's own account, hardware sales were March's weakest spot, sliding 18 percent from $552.04 million (2008) to $455.55 million (2009). "While it's not unusual for March hardware sales to be lower than February, I thought we'd see higher unit sales on most platforms," she said. "The Xbox 360 was the only platform to achieve a year-over-year unit sales increase."

Microsoft's console came in third for the month with 330,000 units, followed by Sony's three platforms: the PS3 (218,000 units), the PSP (168,000 units), and the now-$99.99 PlayStation 2, which only sold 112,000 units during the March reporting period, which lasted until April 4. "The PS2 price decrease occurred on April 1, so this month included only 4 days of sales as the new retail price," explained Frazier. "We would expect to see an increase in PS2 hardware sell-through in the April data."

Though much changed in March 2009 from the year prior, two things stayed the same. The Wii and DS were the top-selling hardware platforms once again, selling 601,000 units and 563,000 units, respectively. "It's important to keep in mind that the Super Smash Bros. Brawl effect from last year impacted hardware sales as well, so while the year-over-year comparisons are down for the Wii, the sales are still impressive," commented Frazier.

While unnerving on their own, NPD's March numbers also signaled a more alarming trend. When taken into account, the month's numbers caused 2009's first-quarter game sales to go from solid growth to a near flatline. For the January-March period, the US game industry generated $4.25 billion, barely up from the $4.24 billion it generated during the same period in 2008.

US VIDEO GAMES INDUSTRY - MARCH 2009

Software: $792.83M (-17%)

Hardware: $455.55M (-18%)

Accessories: $185.67M (-15%)

Total Games: $1.43B (-17%)

TOP-SELLING HARDWARE - MARCH 2009

Wii: 601,000

Nintendo DS: 563,000

Xbox 360: 330,000

PlayStation 3: 218,000

PlayStation Portable: 168,000

PlayStation 2: 112,000

TOP-SELLING SOFTWARE SKUs - MARCH 2009

Title / Publisher / Units**

1) Resident Evil 5 (360) / Capcom / 938,000

2) Pokemon Platinum (DS) / Nintendo / 805,000

3) Halo Wars (360) / Microsoft / 639,000

4) Resident Evil 5 (PS3) / Capcom / 585,000

5) Wii Fit w/ Balance Board (Wii) / Nintendo / 541,000

6) MLB '09: The Show (PS3) / Sony / 305,000

7) Killzone 2 (PS3) / Sony / 296,000

8) Wii Play w/ Remote (Wii) / Nintendo / 281,000

9) Mario Kart Wii with Wheel (Wii) / Nintendo / 278,000

10) Major League Baseball 2K9 (360) / Take-Two / 205,000

** = Figures include Collector's Editions and non-hardware bundles.

----------------------------------------------------------

I said back 2 months ago that Halo Wars would outsell Killzone 2 and the PS3 fanboys tried to laugh about it.

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Guest WoodyPaige

I'm surprised such garbage like MLB 2K9 made that list. I hate those games so much, I bought a PS3 so I wouldn't have to support that **** for a year longer.

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hopefully the overseas sales for killzone are better b/c that has so to be disappointing for sony.

Killzone 2 has sold 620,000 copies in 37 days in the US, based on NPD. Since it came out with 2 days of tracking in the last NPD, where it sold over 300,000 copies.

Europe had a retail pre-order number of 1.1 million two weeks before launch.

To retailers, Sony has sold over 2 million copies by now. I would say around 1.2-1.5 million copies to consumers. It's 620,000 in the US, and around 300,000 in the UK. Then you have France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, which are large Sony markets.

Resistance has sold 3 million copies, but it didn't make a huge start. Sony games always sell well beyond launch. They have legs. Killzone 2 will sell 3-4 million copies when it's all said and done.

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Killzone 2 has sold 620,000 copies in 37 days in the US, based on NPD. Since it came out with 2 days of tracking in the last NPD, where it sold over 300,000 copies.

Europe had a retail pre-order number of 1.1 million two weeks before launch.

To retailers, Sony has sold over 2 million copies by now. I would say around 1.2-1.5 million copies to consumers. It's 620,000 in the US, and around 300,000 in the UK. Then you have France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, which are large Sony markets.

Resistance has sold 3 million copies, but it didn't make a huge start. Sony games always sell well beyond launch. They have legs. Killzone 2 will sell 3-4 million copies when it's all said and done.

kz2 was supposed to be a system mover and it got dominated by a multiplatform release (RE5) on the 360 only in one region (NA). It would be unheard of 5 years ago for a Sony AAA system seller to be on par sales-wise with a RTS game on a MS platform.

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kz2 was supposed to be a system mover and it got dominated by a multiplatform release (RE5) on the 360 only in one region (NA). It would be unheard of 5 years ago for a Sony AAA system seller to be on par sales-wise with a RTS game on a MS platform.

Outside of the US, Halo Wars bombed. In Europe, it has sold well below 1/3 of what Killzone 2 has. It's 1/3 in the UK, which is the strongest European market for MS. The rest of Europe, which is 3/4 of the European market, is much less supportive of MS.

The Halo name is powerful to many 15-year-old kids. From what I'm hearing from friends who work at GameStop, sales have dropped off a cliff for Halo Wars. Meaning it sold well initially because of the name.

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Outside of the US, Halo Wars bombed. In Europe, it has sold well below 1/3 of what Killzone 2 has. It's 1/3 in the UK, which is the strongest European market for MS. The rest of Europe, which is 3/4 of the European market, is much less supportive of MS.

The Halo name is powerful to many 15-year-old kids. From what I'm hearing from friends who work at GameStop, sales have dropped off a cliff for Halo Wars. Meaning it sold well initially because of the name.

surely you understand the error in making such a broad statement based on such limited information.

still, never would have believed that a AAA sony system selling title would be on par with a RTS on a MS console. crazy how far they have fallen.

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surely you understand the error in making such a broad statement based on such limited information.

still, never would have believed that a AAA sony system selling title would be on par with a RTS on a MS console. crazy how far they have fallen.

I only find it hard to believe how gullible some X360 owners are.

If you walk into GameStop right now, you'll see seas of used Halo Wars copies. People were gullible.

Killzone 2 has outsold Halo Wars worldwide. So trying to focus on one region and neglect the overall sales is surely a naive act.

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I only find it hard to believe how gullible some X360 owners are.

If you walk into GameStop right now, you'll see seas of used Halo Wars copies. People were gullible.

Killzone 2 has outsold Halo Wars worldwide. So trying to focus on one region and neglect the overall sales is surely a naive act.

that's the whole point. it is a sony AAA title. It should blow a RTS game on a MS console out of the water. no need for name calling... i didn't offend you in anyway, just made an observation. relax, it will be ok.

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Lets make this all clear okay people?

The Resident Evil franchise is popular which means more sales, The Killzone franchise is not because people are still stuck on how suckage Killzone 1 was.

Halo Wars is milking the Halo name, halo fans are buying this game just based on its Halo name, even though the game itself isn't all that great to begin with. (it was fun until it got boring really fast) Same with the halo franchise, Halo 1 was great but 2 and 3 sucked imo.

I wouldn't take this monthly NPD's serious anyways, its all about the yearly NPD's.

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I only find it hard to believe how gullible some X360 owners are.

If you walk into GameStop right now, you'll see seas of used Halo Wars copies. People were gullible.

Killzone 2 has outsold Halo Wars worldwide. So trying to focus on one region and neglect the overall sales is surely a naive act.

Good lord Wom, what color is the sky in the world you live in?

New releases dominate this month's top ten, with games releasing in March taking six of the top ten spots. This month's leading seller is Capcom's Resident Evil 5, with a combined 1,532,000 units sold across the game's two versions for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. The split between the two versions is 61.6/38.4 in favor of the Xbox 360, which is roughly 1.6 to 1. The Pokémon craze continues to live on strong, with the third version of the game's main series, Pokémon Platinum, also debuting this month in the #2 spot at 805,000 units sold on Nintendo's handheld. Microsoft's Halo Wars is the other big release to chart well, with the RTS in the publisher's popular Halo franchise managing to outsell Sony's Killzone 2's lifetime-to-date. A relatively par showing for Sony's first person shooter shows that it cannot help push systems, and interest has petered out in comparison to its two-day sales total from February. Nintendo's evergreen trio of Wii Fit, Wii Play, and Mario Kart Wii fill out the rest of the top ten, along with a pair of baseball games.in MLB 09: The Show and Major League Baseball 2K9 to prepare for the start of the baseball season.

http://www.neoseeker.com/news/10475-march-...-up-the-charts/

Halo Wars Sells 1 Millionth Game

>> From the press release:

Microsoft today announced that sales of "Halo Wars" have reached more than one million units worldwide, making the exclusive Xbox 360 title the best selling real-time strategy game on any current generation console. With a revolutionary control scheme designed expressly for the Xbox 360 controller and a riveting story that takes "Halo" fans deeper into the "Halo" universe, "Halo Wars" is breaking new ground for the strategy genre by introducing a new wave of fans to strategy games and reminding existing fans why it's so fun.

Set in the year 2525, "Halo Wars" takes players on a perilous journey through the famed "Halo" universe. As players take the command seat in the early, epic battles between the UNSC and Covenant, they will begin to unravel events 20 years before "Halo: Combat Evolved" that shaped the franchise into what it is today.

Since the game's release throughout Asia on February 26 and subsequent launches in Europe and the Americas, fans around the world have been taking full advantage of "Halo Wars'" rich Xbox LIVE gameplay. To date:

· There have been more than 2.6 million multiplayer matches played

· More than 118 years of time has been spent in multiplayer matches on Xbox LIVE

· On average, more than 200,000 "Halo Wars" fans have taken up arms in battles between the UNSC and Covenant each day

· For more statistics and game information, fans can visit the official stats page at: http://www.halowars.com/stats/globalstats.aspx

But these initial explosive battles in "Halo Wars" are just beginning. Microsoft is working closely with partner and newly formed studio Robot Entertainment, which is comprised of "Halo Wars" and "Age of Empires" veterans from Ensemble Studios. More Halo Wars content is being prepared, so stay tuned.

NPD Reaction: Microsoft Touts Console And Xbox Live Sales Increases

by Christian Nutt

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April 17, 2009

In its monthly NPD U.S. game sales reaction email, Microsoft has trumpeted that its console is the only one on the market to experience year-on-year growth, while noting that Xbox Live downloads have more than doubled from the same period a year ago.

The console sold 330,000 units in the U.S. in March 2009 -- a 25% year-over-year increase, and according to Microsoft, one that flies in the face of its competitors' "double-digit declines".

The company has also revealed that the number of Xbox Live users paying for content on the service has more than doubled since this time last year, with 128% growth in unique users purchasing XBL content -- be it use of Netflix, other video, games, or DLC.

Microsoft has also revealed that the first three months of the year have seen 220% increase in DLC purchases, led by Grand Theft Auto IV and Fallout 3, as well as its own shooter titles Gears of War 2 and Halo 3.

According to its internal numbers, there has been a 62% increase in downloadable game add-ons compared to the same period last year, with 516 pieces of game content released via Xbox Live for 63 titles.

Microsoft can claim three of the top 10 games of the month -- with the overall number one game Resident Evil 5 on its platform; the title's PlayStation 3 version placed fourth. Platform-exclusive first-party RTS Halo Wars placed third, while 2K Sports' Major League Baseball 2K9 placed 10th overall, notably behind Sony's MLB '09: The Show, which slotted in at sixth.

In its email, Microsoft also claims a top 10 appearance with Guitar Hero Metallica, which disagrees with the official chart as released by the NPD Group -- the game does not appear in its official top 10 at all. Microsoft has clarified with Gamasutra that it disregards sales of handheld games to formulate its top 10 -- which strips out third-placed Pokemon Platinum and slots in GH: Metallica at #10.

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=23242

Microsoft: US market is already decided

Christopher Reynolds 14:00, Wednesday 15 April 2009

Microsoft's European VP for interactive entertainment, Chris Lewis, has said the battle between the PS3 and 360 in the US is over, with the company now focusing its attention on Europe

When asked if the battle between the PS3 and the 360 was now decided in the US, Lewis said Microsoft has "done the job we need to in North America", and that the company would focus more effort on increasing the 360's lead over the PS3 in Europe.

Lewis, speaking in an interview with 360 magazine, also admitted that Microsoft had made mistakes in its previous approach to the European videogame market, saying that a single marketing strategy couldn't be applied to the whole continent.

“In the sunnier parts of Europe we did have relatively less success”

"It's a very textured region," said Lewis. "You've got places like the UK and the Nordic countries...where we've been able to apply our more North American approach to those markets with genuine success."

"In the sunnier parts of Europe we did have relatively less success up until the last 12 months where I think we have better understood the need to go to those markets with more appropriate content," he added.

Follow the link for our full feature on Microsoft's European strategy.

http://xbox-360.nowgamer.com/news/388/micr...already-decided

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I Like, own and play both games I'm just postin' the facts bro

Facts and PS3 gaga fanboys don't mix, it's well apparent and thrives in this thread. I think USMC called Halo's wars would out sell KZ2 overall looks like he may be right.

I think this is the first time in nine plus months Womfalcs has even posted in NPD thread, poor guy. :lol:

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I Like, own and play both games I'm just postin' the facts bro

Doesn't matter, people are buying Halo Wars because of the "HALO" name, does it mean its better then KZ2? No, no it doesn't. Halo is a popular franchise with a big following, Killzone 2 does not have a big following and never will sadly. Metal Gear has a big following, Final Fantasy has a really big following, same with GTA.

If KZ2 have a big following like the other franchises, we wouldn't be talking about this now.

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360 fanboys would say it is

People that have a different opinion than you aren't fanboys. You certainly seem to be becoming one though.

For the record, I think KZ2 is better than Halo Wars. Halo Wars got an 82 on metacritic, and Killzone got a 92. Clearly more reviewers think killzone is better, but its not like Halo Wars got a bad score. Peoples opinions can rightly vary.

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Why are PS3 fanboys getting so riled up? just because my prediction they couldn't belive came true?

And at least add some credibility to yourselves over worldwide sales and post an article. Wom is terrible about stating 'facts' but never showing where they come from or if they even exist.

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Doesn't matter, people are buying Halo Wars because of the "HALO" name, does it mean its better then KZ2? No, no it doesn't. Halo is a popular franchise with a big following, Killzone 2 does not have a big following and never will sadly. Metal Gear has a big following, Final Fantasy has a really big following, same with GTA.

If KZ2 have a big following like the other franchises, we wouldn't be talking about this now.

no one is claiming halo wars is better then killzone 2.

what I am saying is that it's ridiculous that a console RTS punked a AAA sony title. that is unheard of. It was predicted to happen on this board by some and few believed it. This never would have happened in the PS1 or PS2 days.

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