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NPD: Top 20 Reveals April's Hits,  FFXIII 's Chart Miss
NPD: Top 20 Reveals April's Hits, FFXIII's Chart Miss
May 14, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander, Matt Matthews

May 14, 2010 | By Leigh Alexander, Matt Matthews
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    19 comments
More: Console/PC



April 2010 may have been a disappointing month for video game industry numbers, but new top 20 U.S. console retail game from the NPD Group reveals that 14 titles sold more than 100,000 units -- above analyst expectations, and more than the 9 that were sold in April of last year.

Overall in the top 20, according to data provided to Gamasutra by NPD, there were six titles for Wii and PlayStation 3 apiece and five Xbox 360 games, and three Nintendo DS games that placed. This is the second month in a row that the PS3 has moved more titles than its rival from Microsoft.

Splinter Cell Conviction sold 486,100 units, and the second-place contender, Pokemon SoulSilver version, was far behind with 242,900.

It's apparently the preferred edition of the game; Pokemon HeartGold charted fourth, with 192,600 units after third-placer New Super Mario Bros. Wii's 200,300 units.

Notably, global sales charts often track separate editions of a Pokemon game together, as despite subtle differences they are effectively the same product. Had the NPD chosen to group the two editions together, they still would not have unseated Conviction.

Finally, although it came in third on March's charts, Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII failed to chart in the top 20 for April, something of an unexpected lull for a title in the franchise with one of the most fervent fanbases in the gamer community.

The complete top 20, as provided by the NPD Group, is as follows:



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Comments


Ken Masters
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Seeing Monster Hunter 3 Tri up there at 11 makes me very pleased. I've 86 hours logged into it and it really deserves the sales.



Also, good showing by PS3 software.

Jeferson Soler
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I agree with Ken about Monster Hunter Tri. Not bad for a game from a series that's more popular in Japan than in the US. In my opinion, Capcom did a great job with the game and the marketing of the game.

Maurício Gomes
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When I see Pokemon up there, I can only say:



Oh, I wonder when it will STOP figuring on the charts...



It is like the japanese Counter-Strike (another one, that is permanently high on the Steam charts...)

Dave Smith
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with these dismal numbers, I hope publishers are beginning to realize the price of new games is too high.



you would think pressure from Gamestop, pirates, social games, and iPod would have made them realize 60$ is a ridiculous price already.

Saul Gonzalez
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It makes sense that a game with "one of the most fervent fanbases" would flare out in a month. FXIII fans preordered or bought on launch day. What the drop says is that FFXIII has limited appeal outside its core supporters.

Kevin Butler
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Sony needs to put what Nintendo fans need on the PS3. Its that simple.



Sony used to have an answer for everything Nintendo had. Crash Bandicoot for Mario; Monster Rancher and Digimon for Pokemon; Final Fantasy for Zelda and a long list of kid friendly game one can think of. PS1 & PS2 games used to enjoy a well balanced platform for gaming with every possible genre of video games well nurtured.



All bases were covered and are belong to PlayStation before. Gamecube really had no chance.



But after 12 years have past an new generation of gamers come of age and Nintendo was just waiting for them. Then in one fell swoop Nintendo cathches them all! Bam!



Now I don't know what happened to Sony. Its really sad. How did they overlook this and screw up?

Kevin Butler
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@ Enrique



They FF fans have all grown up and the new generation of gamers, those who dig thier Saturday morning cartoon a.k.a. Nintendo gamers, is not what FF XIII is made for.

Kevin Butler
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If only Sony and Microsoft believe in what Nintendo games stand for it might have been a better gaming industry. Yet they abandon the children still for mature games (and suffer). As long as there are young kids there will be a market for cartoons, animation, comics, pop music and yes video games for the young ones.



Sonic the Hedgehog, the object of scorn and despised and despite the luck luster and crappy games, have made it to the 70 million units sold! Out selling even critically acclaimed and console mover, the Legend of Zelda. The only old Nintendo franchise that bested Sonic is Mario and Pokemon.

So how does that compute?

Tim Tavernier
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Before we go molesting history even more with stereotypes: Sony and Microsoft made the strategic mistake that male 13-33 year olds are the primary people who really game. Nintendo just went "what about all those other people?...let's make games for them with our top-grade teams!".



So it's not only kids, its women, gamers from the Atari and 8/16-bit generations that left with the jump to 3D and old people that Nintendo (re-)attracted.

Jonathan Escobedo
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Huh, Pokemon SoulSilver got second, that's so....fitting. Anyway, this is is quickly turning into a good year for gamers, and with games like Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Red Dead Redemption coming out this month, I really wish I had money.



@Tim

I agree with you that Nintendo is doing really good with going for a lot of people beside Nintendo fanboys such as myself. And it seems like Microsoft and Sony are also realizing their mistake, what with Microsoft Natal and Sony Move.

Jonathan Osment
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@Dave, I am not sure the price of the game is the sole problem, but rather something that reflects on the issue itself. What I am referring to is what the player gets for what they pay for. Replay value, length of play time, modes of play, these all factor into what the consumer would feel justified spending that kind of money on. Games you only play once and last maybe 8 hours are a lot like going to a movie, its a 1 run and something you rarely go back for again. One of the reasons the game industry is beating the film industry annually is because there is more entertainment for the money, but what happens when the entertainment becomes short term? Not only are sales lost due to used game sales (recycled games) but that the games themselves are not designed with the possibility of long term play and replay in mind.

Matt Simmons
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It's absolutely no surprise to me that FF13 is off this chart. Sadly, this game let me down on almost every element I look for in a game. The initial sales were clearly only based on past games, and the fan base desperately hoping for the same FF7 experience, but with Squares amazing presentation.

Dave Smith
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@ jonathan thats true but I think its makes more sense to drop prices to match the amount of gameplay than to try to create enough gameplay to justify 60$. most people dont have the time to play something more than a couple weeks anyway. i never understood this drive to have hundreds of hours of gameplay. plus, IMO those that do are full of repetition.

Tim Tavernier
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@Jonathan.



You're right that videogames beat movies annually, but that's only the box-office. When the movie-industry adds dvd-sales, videogames still have a lot of catching up to do.



Also, it's not fair comparing an industry that only needs to reach (less then) 10 million people (a small European country) to make 500 million and a industry that needs to reach more then 50 million people (a big European country) to make the same. Movies still reach a lot more and impact a lot more people then videogames. As Warren Spector said: For 20 dollars you can buy a triple A book, movie or music-cd when it comes out . You can't buy a triple A game with it. The industry really needs to re-look its costs distribution system.

Adam Bishop
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One of the main reasons that Playstation became the dominant brand in the PS1/PS2 days was that Sony realised that it *isn't* just kids who play video games. Sony offered a much broader selection of games that appealed to an older demographic. Their failure in this generation hasn't been the lack of appealing games, it's been the fact that the console remained at such a high price relative to the competition for so long. This is pretty clear now that we see Sony doing just as well as its competitors since the PS3 Slim came out with the accompanying price drop.



I think it's silly to say that Sony/Microsoft need to go after a younger demographic. Games that sell to younger people like Pokemon are great sellers on the DS, for sure. But games that sell to an older audience like Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty also do extremely well on the 360/PS3. There's more than one way to make games that sell well, and I think it would be a huge step back for the industry to focus only on the audience that buys Nintendo's family friendly fare.

Jeferson Soler
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@Adam Bishop



Not quite true! For one thing, Sega was the one that started to attract the older audience thanks to Genesis/Mega Drive. Even though Genesis/Mega Drive was played by people of all ages, it started to gain the reputation of appealing more to the older audience thanks to the whole mess with Mortal Kombat. Not to mention, Sega America made Genesis look like a system with an attitude. When Sony first did the Playstation, the game system itself was noticed, but it was nearly overshadowed by the Sega Saturn when it finally made its long awaited debut. However, all that changed when Final Fantasy VII was released. Several people can say whatever they want to say, but it was Final Fantasy VII and the marketing push behind the game that ultimately helped Playstation get noticed by the mainstream audience and save the Playstation from going the way of 3DO. Of course, there's more to the story behind Playstation, but for now, I have to say that the earlier comments about Sony appealing to the mainstream audience during the PS1 and PS2 eras and failing to do so during the PS3 era do hold water, because PS1 and PS2 had games for the younger audience just as much as they had games for the older audience. On the other hand, PS3 is targeted too much to the older audience, making it look like a big kids toy. The changes and the price drop for the PS3 don’t entirely matter, either, as Xbox 360 (another system that’s targeted to an older audience) is outselling the PS3 for most of the time. Nintendo went to its own path and they did the right thing by doing so as that helped them get stronger and better, so the real competition in here is just between Xbox 360 and PS3 and Xbox 360 is winning whether anyone likes it or not. Sony regressed themselves by doing Yamauchi-styled mistakes as well as by putting too much emphasis on one audience, while neglecting all other audiences that are just as important. And just for the record, there are adults that would rather play Pac-Man (whose anniversary is coming up this week) than some of the games with the M-rating tag on them. Videogames were always meant to be for everyone, but for some reason, some people started to stereotype game consoles as more for kids than for everyone and this was before the advent of the NES.

Thomas Lo
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Bishop - 100% agree. The numbers also back up your info.



@Soler - If the PS3 was only aimed at an older audience Sony wouldn't be pouring so much money into games like Singstar, Little Big Planet, and Eyetoy games. The PS3 doesn't have a big marketshare because it cost too much for too long. AS for the 360 outselling the PS3, thats only true in the US and thats just barely in recent months depending on the release schedule.



As for software, the PS3's software sales have been growing while 360 sales have stagnated. In fact gamasutra has run stories about hwo the PS3 has edged out the 360 in the US in recent months.



The rest of your post is all just opinion. You're entitled to it, but not your own facts.



@Kevin - Seriously, you are a huge nintendo fanboy. The market would not be better off with just Nintendo in it. In fact, if Nintendo were the only player now, the market would be shrinking and developers would have no way to hedge. Nintendo games also tend not to pay off for 3rd parties almost always vastly underselling estimates: see chinatown wars. Even "failures" on the 360 and Ps3 still tend to do fairly well (see Darksiders).



The market is better off with competition and multiple players in it competing fairly.



As for a topical comment: man, FFXIII completely collapsed didn't it? So much for it being expected to help 360 and PS3 sales. It really was a terribly mediocre game that me and most of my friends couldn't get through because the first half was sooo boring. It goes to show that big Japanese developers are having huge trouble competing nowadays. Capcom was well below estimates and Square Enixes franchises are not showing their legs overseas. meanwhile the domestic market is aging badly and trending towards using the DS lite as their main platform. The young people that are needed to inject energy into the industry are becoming fewer and fewer.



Not a good time to be in the Japanese game industry (and that includes Nintendo who I think is up Sh**creek if Miyamoto ever retires or dies).

Fiore Iantosca
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@Adam Bishop exactly



Sony let their ego interfere with business sense and market conditions.

Robert Gill
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I just wanted to say....Splinter Cell: Conviction baby!



That game earned it's number one spot.


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