Sections

NPD March: BioShock Infinite tops US retail charts with 878K – Update

Saturday, 20th April 2013 14:20 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Despite launching later in the month, BioShock Infinite was the best-selling game in the US in March.

NPD March at a glance

Total Industry spend down 10% year-on-year.

Xbox 360 was the best-selling console for the 27th consecutive month, and attracted the highest total platform spend.

BioShock Infinite topped the software charts.

Software sales were up 2% year-on-year, the first software growth in about 14 months.

February 2013′s figures. March 2012′s figures.

Update: BioShock Infinite sold 878,000 units on console in the US during the month of March; the game was released on March 26.

The NPD Group only tracks traditional retail sales data for its monthly reports, so as always, bear in mind that digital distribution and online retail – not to mention rentals, used games sales, DLC, mobile, social and micro-transactions – are an increasingly important slice of the industry’s total revenue.

That said, the firm did once more note an overall decline in total industry spend in the US for March 2013. Total sales came in at $992.5 million, a 10% year-on-year decrease. It does represent a month-on-month improvement on February’s $810 million, but given that’s a shorter month and March includes five weeks’ worth of data, it’s probably not much cause for retailers to be celebrating.

Happily, the NPD estimates used and rental sales reached $190 million; digital format sales hit $670 million; and that total consumer spend on games during the month was “just under $1.9 billion”.

Sector by sector, accessories were largely flat in terms of dollar sales – $216 million – but noted a 15% unit sales growth. Hardware sales fell 32% year-on-year to $221.6 million. Portables were hit harder than home consoles, but sales of the 3DS actually increased by 9%.

Interestingly, software actually demonstrated growth, climbing 2% year-on-year to $602.4 million. It’s the first time software sales have shown growth since November 2011.

Top Ten software by platform

3DS – 1
Vita – 1
Wii – 1
Wii U – 3
PC – 3
X360 – 7
PS3 – 8

Software

Last month’s big new releases – Dead Space 3, Crysis 3, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and Aliens: Colonial Marines – all vanished form the charts completely.

The NPD’s Liam Callahan said new releases sold 40% more year-on-year across consoles, portables, and PC.

“There were actually fewer new launches – about 20 percent less new games – than last March, but March 2013 launches generated close to 70 percent more dollar sales per SKU than last year,” he said.

BioShock Infinite and Tomb Raider both had the biggest first-month sales of any game in their respective franchises to date – and in Tomb Raider’s case, these figures didn’t include PC, apparently.

One notable release did not chart – StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. The last PC exclusive Activision Blizzard fronted, Diablo 3, most definitely did chart at launch – but it’s worth noting that as an expansion of sorts, Heart of the Swarm’s sales would have been mostly digital.

Activision Blizzard, Sony and Take-Two all had two entries each in the charts, with all other charting publishers managing just one entry each. EA did not chart, despite releasing Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel and expected hangover sales of SimCity.

Off the back of claiming soaring 3DS sales earlier today, Nintendo managed to chart with the 3DS exclusive Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. The platform holder said the sequel managed almost 365,000 physical sales in March, with over 415,00 physical and digital sales life to date.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon sold more than 145,000 in both formats in March, and Fire Emblem: Awakening managed over 64,000, reaching 240,000 life to date.

The company said total physical 3DS software sales have crossed over 20 million units sold in the US.

Here’s the full software top ten:

  1. BioShock Infinite (PC, PS3, X360) (878,000 per Gamespot)
  2. Tomb Raider (PS3, X360) (640,000)
  3. Gears of War: Judgment (X360) (620,000)
  4. God of War: Ascension (PS3) (570,000)
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (PC, PS3, Wii U, X360)
  6. Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS) (360,000)
  7. MLB 13: the Show (PS3, Vita)
  8. NBA 2K13 (PC, PS3, PSP, Wii, Wii U X360)
  9. The Walking Dead: Survival instinct (PS3, Wii U, X360)
  10. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (PS3, X360)

Hardware

Microsoft said 261,000 Xbox 360 consoles were sold over the course of the month, making it the best-selling console for the 27th consecutive month. It also attracted the highest total platform spend at $402 million.

While Nintendo and Sony opted out of sending out hardware figures to the mainstream press, a poster on NeoGAF gleaned some figures off of 2channel, although we’re not sure how legitimate the numbers are, the figures provide will give you a base idea of how well Wii U and Vita sold in March.

According to the post, total hardware sales for March were 990,000 units with Wii U moving 67,000 units, Wii moving 91,000 and 3DS pushing 230,000 units out the door (thanks, CyberMarco).

Sony systems, according to the post, move 211,033 units total: Vita with 33,000 units and PS3 with approximately 211,000 units – putting it 50,000 or so shy of Xbox 360 figures combined.

Breaking news

12 Comments

Sign in to post a comment.

  1. SplatteredHouse

    Good article. Plenty of info, nicely presented.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Brenna Hillier

    @1, oh, thank you, that’s really nice to hear.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. salarta

    Even the bots like this post! You know you’re going places when even algorithms are leaving compliments.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Bloodyghost

    Bioshock Infinite is easily one of the best games I have ever played and everyone should learn from the story that gamers crave a deep story. It’s completely possible to upset GTA5 for GOTY.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Brenna Hillier

    @Salarta ah ha ha. I’ll just give that one a smack…

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Mus42

    Why is Tomb Raider not mentioned as PC game?

    #6 1 year ago
  7. mistermogul

    “We’re still awaiting hardware figures from Nintendo and Sony…”

    In other words Sony/Nintendo had shite hardware sales and it’s taking them a while to work out how to put positive spin on crap figures!

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Stephany Nunneley

    Possible hardware figures have been added. I say possible because I’m not positive on the source, but it will give you an idea anyway. Thanks CyberMarco.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. alimokrane

    WHAT:

    “Sony systems, according to the post, move 211,330 units total: Vita with 33,000 units and PS3 with approximately 211,000 units – putting it 20,0000 or so shy of Xbox 360 figures. “

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Lengendaryboss

    @7 Or maybe they just won’t say anything.
    Is there a reason there is no sales figures for the last 4 games out of the top 10?
    Edit: Still being updated?

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Stephany Nunneley

    @10 – Those were the only figures that have been found so far.

    @9 Yeah I hit 2 instead of 5. I fixed it.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. matrix01

    Your list needs correcting. God of War: Ascension actually sold 630,000 units in March. 570,000 alone + 60,000 from the God of War Legacy bundle, NPD doesn’t include bundled sales but the same user from NeoGAF confirmed these numbers. God of War: Ascension was the 3rd biggest release of March and the 1st biggest single SKU.

    #12 1 year ago