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New game releases disappoint in the US

Halo: Reach, Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, Metroid: Other M stumble in first month

New software releases in September have not met expectations in the US, according to Cowan & Company's Doug Creutz.

Microsoft's Halo: Reach sold 3.3 million units during the month, below Cowan's 3.75 million estimate, while Activision's Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, only managed "a fairly dreadful" 86,000 units in its first five days.

He also singled out Nintendo's Metroid: Other M as missing expectations, in the first month that The NPD Group stopped releasing detailed data on individual sales.

Released in August, EA's Madden NFL 11 slowed down in its second month on the market, with unit sales down 11 per cent, with Creutz adding "we continue to expect cumulatively flat year-on-year performance for the franchise through December."

There were "few major surprises at the publishers" during September, said Cowan & Company - including PC software, Activision Blizzard sales were down 41 per cent, EA down 42 per cent, Take-Two down 170 per cent and THQ down 25 per cent compared to the same month last year.

While October is expected to be a stronger month, Creutz lowered full calendar year expectations to be down 5 per cent on 2009.

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Latest comments (10)

Razvan-Andrei Safta Lead Game Tester, Ubisoft Romania6 years ago
Well...that's kinda expected.
So what if Halo: Reach released...it's the same as all the others (my opinion only)
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock - 60$ for a new set list of songs? What did they expect?

Innovation sells not recycling titles and diluting the IP. The only region that can release with good numbers the same title is Japan...

Uhh, almost forgot, you can create on the same IP several titles but innovate them, bring something new...release a game in 2-3 even 4 years! Not on a year
to year basis.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Razvan-Andrei Safta on 15th October 2010 11:35am

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Razvan-Andrei Safta Lead Game Tester, Ubisoft Romania6 years ago
Just remembered a title that is virtually the same but has sales going through the sealing - COD

PS: while posting my comment i did not take in to consideration sport franchise titles like FIFA, MADDEN etc
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 6 years ago
"There were "few major surprises at the publishers" during September, said Cowan & Company - including PC software, Activision Blizzard sales were down 41 per cent ... Take-Two down 170 per cent"

Wait, what?! Unless I'm reading this very wrong (and it is Friday!), this means their sales were over 100% down on this time last year - which surely isn't possible...?!

Anyway, I would be interested to see how Halo: Reach's sales compared to Halo 3's over the same period. Also what's interesting is how these continued months of decline tie-in with NPD data no longer being freely available. I wonder how much of that was down to publishers' requests.
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Show all comments (10)
Maybe...they meant down 70% ?
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Antony Cain Lecturer in Computer Games Design, Sunderland College6 years ago
or 17?

3.3 million sales for Halo Reach... what a monstrous failure
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James Ingrams Writer 6 years ago
The problem is that hyped titles can sell millions in the first week, but by week 4 the sales are at almost zero and you start seeing stock 'on sale'. Other titles, particularly the AA titles and European titles (like STALKER, The Witcher, etc) sell only in the 100,000's in the first month and yet at the end of the first year have sold over 1 million units and year 2 another million units - so three years later they have actually matched that hyped title! Do you know STALKER, on PC, has sold as many units worldwide as the PC version of Bioshock? And yet ask 100 people which is the bigger hit and 95 people would say the hyped Bioshock!
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Razvan-Andrei Safta Lead Game Tester, Ubisoft Romania6 years ago
Dude...that depends on who you are talking with...STALKER is one of the best games of it's time! (personal opinion)
Bioshock is a good game but on the xbox...not PC

PS: i would love to see STALKER on the 360
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Simon Arnet6 years ago
That's because big publishers just let there Annual franchise sit there and be milked with DLC, they wonder why everybody doesn't buy a new game and seem to forget there still playing the DLC. Plus, it's entirely possibly for a game such as Alan Wake to release a DLC pack and cause a player to change is mind on purchasing a big game. Imho DLC is killing the industry because the big publishers are just getting greedy. Seems to me that the only viable developers around these days that are main stream are Ubisoft, Bethesda Softworks and Gear Box. The problem is that everybody wants to take it safe and nobody is willing to innovate so they all stick and milk there franchises. There's some hope with Live and PSN but those outlets are so controlled. Somebody needs to start up a game company that has good ethics. The industry will need to switch over to Online Downloads to survive at this rate and follow say the creators of Black Light TangoDown. I thought that was a pretty interesting approach. Remains to be seen regardless.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Simon Arnet on 15th October 2010 4:44pm

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Jack Boats elitist 6 years ago
Those don't sound like "new" games to me. maybe that's part of the problem
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Tony Johns6 years ago
I would be really happy if a game I had developed managed to have at least over 9,000 copies being sold in the first week to maybe a month.

But then I am not part of the industry, so maybe I am only talking from my perspective and not from the publisher's perspective here.
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