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Nintendo smashed sales records in March 2017… but Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands was the top-selling game
Nintendo told us all about their record-setting sales month last week, but the NPD Group made it official today when they revealed their retail report on the video game industry for March 2017.
NPD analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz: “March 2017 will go down in history books as the month Nintendo broke records.The Nintendo Switch had the biggest hardware launch for a Nintendo platform and the second biggest launch for any video game platform since 1995, the time NPD began tracking this category.”
However, even though The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild managed to sell more than 900,000 copies, it wasn’t able to secure the #1 spot. Instead, Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands was the best-selling game last month, likely due to Nintendo’s unwillingness to share their digital sales figures with the NPD Group. Other strong sellers on the Switch included 1-2 Switch (#13) and Super Bomberman R (#17).
Big debuts weren’t limited to Nintendo’s Switch, and it was a banner month for several new releases last month, as Mass Effect: Andromeda (#3), Horizon: Zero Dawn (#4), and Nier: Automata (#9) also smashed expectations. Combined with impressive Switch hardware sales, these games helped the industry record more than $1.36 billion in total sales for the month, a 24% year-on-year increase over March 2016.
The complete list of best-selling games from March 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)
Ubisoft’s For Honor conquered all comers during its first month of availability, as The NPD Group declared it the best-selling game during February 2017. The multiplayer brawler faced some tough competition, but it emerged victorious on the retail battlefield, besting both Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (#2) and Grand Theft Auto V (#3).
The only other new release to crack last month’s top ten was Nioh, an action RPG developed by Team Ninja and published by Koei Tecmo.
But the overall retail health of the industry was on a downward swing in February. According to GamesIndustry.biz, hardware and software sales were down: “Total hardware sales amounted to $204 million, down 30% from last year. Console and portable software dropped 14% to $344.2 million, PC software fell 26% to just $25 million, while accessories fell 21% to $150.8 million. All told, industry sales took a 21% hit, declining from $918.7 million to $724 million.”
However, it seems likely that the successful launch of the Nintendo Switch (and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) will change that trajectory in March.
The complete list of best-selling games from February 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)
It looks like there’s still some life left in the Resident Evil franchise. The latest game in the series, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, topped the NPD Group’s report on the best-selling games in January 2017. The only other new release to crack the top ten was Square Enix’s Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, which camein at #6.
“With only five days in the market, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard was the best-selling game in January. The last time Capcom had the best-selling game of the month (in dollar sales) was in March 2009 with Resident Evil 5,” NPD Analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz.
Overall spending on game titles was up 14% last month over January 2016, thanks mostly to continued demand for 2016’s biggest releases including Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (#2), Battlfield 1 (#4), and NBA 2K17 (#5). And Grand Theft Auto V (#3) continues to burn up the charts more than four years after it was first released.
The complete list of best-selling games from January 2017 can be found after the break. (more…)
After falling behind 21-3, things were looking grim for the New England Patriots last night in Super Bowl LI. However, you can’t count out quarterback Tom Brady, who rallied his team and tied the game 28-28 at the end of regulation. For the first time in history, the winner of the Super Bowl would be decided in sudden-death.
The annual Super Bowl prediction from EA Sports didn’t account for this unprecedented event, but when James White scored a touchdown for the Patriots early in overtime, the Madden NFL 17 simulation was proven correct once more. The final score wasn’t exactly the same (EA predicted a 27-24 win for New England) and Julian Edelman didn’t make a game-winning catch (though his receiving skills did help the Patriots send the game to overtime), but EA Sports correctly surmised that Brady would earn MVP honors for the fourth time.
With yet another correct prediction, Madden’s Super Bowl simulation has correctly picked the Super Bowl winner in ten out of the last 14 years.
The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #91: Madden NFL Football (Series)
“The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time” is a statistical meta-analysis of 44 “Best Video Games of All Time” lists that were published between 1995 and 2016. Catch up on how we decided to sort the games and the rest of the Top 100 in the Introduction.
You can also help support the completion of this project through Patreon.
A gambler will tell you that they believe Lady Luck will reward them for respecting a streak, and a professional football player will tell you that he doesn’t believe in the Madden Curse. The former is a wishful thinker, and the latter is a liar.
The sports world is filled with superstitions. As a Little Leaguer growing up, I could show you what a “rally cap” was and explain the importance of never touching the baselines. I understood completely why retired Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland refused to change his underwear during a 12-game winning streak in 2011. I’ve even got strong opinions on what you say to a pitcher in the middle of a perfect game. The answer is you don’t say anything, because talking to him at all is bad luck.
For decades, the Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx served as a well-known precursor to the Madden Curse. Those who believe in the Jinx are convinced that any player who appears on the cover of Sports Illustrated will experience some form of terrible luck, even though a handful of high-profile hits have obscured the long list of players who avoided the Jinx over the years. If the sheer number of cover subjects doesn’t dissuade you (more than 3,000 issues have been produced since the magazine’s launch in 1954), the illustrious career of Michael Jordan should. The basketball great has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated a record 50 times, and he’s had the kind of career that other athletes dream about… not counting his detour through Minor League Baseball and Space Jam.
But what of the Madden Curse? Although you’ll find a few executives at Electronic Arts who enjoy hyping up the current year’s game with talk of the Curse, most of them like to downplay it. In 2008, the then-President of EA Sports, Peter Moore, said, “I guess when you look back there’s a grain of truth to the Madden Curse.” At the time, he wasn’t wrong. Five of the last six offensive players on the cover succumbed to some horrible calamity. The publishing giant even considered producing a movie based on the Madden Curse in 2010, though that project seems to have fallen off the radar in the years since.
And that’s probably because the Madden Curse is as mythical as a wild turducken. (more…)
The digital prognosticators at EA Sports have delivered their official Madden NFL 17 prediction for this year’s “Big Game.” It may not be the result everyone wants, but according to EA, the New England Patriots will defeat the Atlanta Falcons 27 to 24 in Super Bowl LI.
According to the simulation, the Patriots will trail the Falcons 24 to 20 with just a few seconds left on the clock. From an unenviable 4th and 4, and with no timeouts remaining, Tom Brady will drop back and hit Julian Edelman for the game-winning touchdown.
But before that bit of last-second magic, EA’s simulation of Super Bowl LI plays out pretty much how you’d expect. Atlanta’s running back committee of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman will each score a touchdown, while the always-impressive Julio Jones will add 89 receiving yards. But the Patriots will get the chance to spread the ball around and Brady’s pair of touchdown tosses to Dion Lewis and Chris Hogan (along with the game-winning score) will earn him the Super Bowl MVP trophy.
Is it likely that any of these controller-aided conclusions will come to pass on Sunday? Your guess is as good as mine, but EA’s Madden-powered Super Bowl prediction is usually a pretty accurate barometer of Super Bowl Sunday. Last year, Madden NFL 16 predicted the Carolina Panthers would win Super Bowl 50 in a nail-biter, but they actually lost a lopsided game to the Denver Broncos.
Patriots fans would probably rather look to the Madden NFL 15 simulation from two years ago, which perfectly predicted Super Bowl XLIX’s final score of 28-24.
Whatever happens, I’m sure the commercials will be good.
The video game industry should definitely be celebrating right now, as The NPD Group has announced that consumers spent $30.4 billion on hardware, software, peripherals, and in-game purchases in 2016. This is a slight increase over 2015 revenues, which totaled a measly $30.2 billion.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, NPD Analyst Mat Piscatella attributed some of this growth to the emergence of virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR. He also cited the “cultural phenomenon” that was Pokemon Go and the subsequent release of Pokemon Sun and Moon on the 3DS.
“Growth in entertainment software consumer spend was seen across the mobile, PC, virtual reality, subscription, portable, and digital console segments,” Piscatella said. “Consumers have more options to purchase and enjoy entertainment software than ever before, while developers have more and easier ways of delivering that content. No matter the delivery platform, entertainment software has never been more engaging, diverse or accessible.”
However, none of those games managed to crack the top ten for 2016, which was once again dominated by Activision’s Call of Duty franchise. Even though it launched to less-than-stellar reviews and a negative fan reaction, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was still the best-selling game in 2016. Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III was also represented in the top ten, at #8.
Tom Clancy’s The Division (#3) and Overwatch (#7) proved that new franchises can still make some noise in the NPD’s annual ranking, but perennial best-sellers like NBA 2K17 (#4), Madden NFL 17 (#5), and FIFA 17 (#9) also sold well in 2016, as did strong sequels such as Battlefield 1 (#2) and Final Fantasy XV (#10).
You can find the NPD’s list of best-selling games throughout all of 2016 after the break. (more…)
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare launched on November 4, and it easily took the crown as the best-selling game for the whole month. Today, The NPD Group revealed the best-selling games for December, and Infinite Warfare managed to repeat as the top title.
While Activision’s shooter series continued to be a favorite among gift givers at the end of the year, Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV had an almost equally impressive retail peformance.
“Although a Call of Duty has now topped the December sales chart for the ninth consecutive year, Final Fantasy XV was the best-selling game for the PS4 during the month,” NPD Analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz. “Final Fantasy XV was the second best-selling title for December 2016… Final Fantasy XV experienced the best console launch month in the history of the franchise selling 19% more new physical units than Final Fantasy XIII in its launch month and 54% more in total dollar revenue including digital full game sales.”
The remainder of the top ten should look familiar as it contains several of 2016’s biggest games including Battlefield 1 (#3), Madden NFL 17 (#4), NBA 2K17 (#5), Watch Dogs 2 (#6), FIFA 17 (#8), and Pokemon Sun and Moon (#8 and #10, respectively). 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V also cracked the best-sellers list for December at #7.
You can find the complete top ten in list form after the break. (more…)