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NPD: Industry Sales Down 5% In May As  Red Dead Redemption  Tops Chart
NPD: Industry Sales Down 5% In May As Red Dead Redemption Tops Chart
July 1, 2010 | By Chris Remo

July 1, 2010 | By Chris Remo
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    29 comments
More: Console/PC



Despite the predictions of numerous analysts who predicted the U.S. video game industry would see at least modest sales growth in May, data from tracking firm NPD pegs the retail console business as down 5 percent year-over-year in May to $823.5 million.

Hardware took a big hit, with revenues falling to $241.5 million, a considerable 20 percent decline compared to last May. Software, which was expected to be May's strong point on the back of Red Dead Redemption and Super Mario Galaxy 2, was only up 4 percent to $466.3 million, with accessory revenue up 3 percent to $115.7 million.

Those new results put the industry down 10 percent on a year-to-date basis compared to 2009, with $5.56 billion in total earnings so far, with hardware down 20 percent and software down 6 percent.

Of course, everything is relative, as NPD analyst Anita Frazier points out. "Although down this month, May sales reflect the third best-selling May on record after May '08 and May '09," she wrote in a research note -- although this May's 5 percent decline comes after May 2009 had already seen its revenue drop 23 percent from $1.12 billion in 2008.

As far as platform comparisons, Frazier also noted that the Xbox 360 platform, including software and hardware overall, "contributed the greatest share of revenue to industry sales for the month, and year-to-date." Meanwhile, the PlayStation 3 platform has seen the most improvement on a year-to-date basis.

Software

Rockstar San Diego's Red Dead Redemption was the clear success story of May, bringing in around 1.5 million units on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, with a considerable sales tilt towards Microsoft's console.

That game nearly tripled the sales of Nintendo's Super Mario Galaxy 2, which managed 563,900 units on Wii, although Red Dead was on sale for several days longer in the month of May.

Meanwhile, Remedy's Alan Wake, which was released the same day as Red Dead, had a more disappointing debut, particularly considering its status as a major Microsoft exclusive. It came in at eighth place, although NPD no longer releases specific sales figures for titles beyond the top five.

And while Yuke's' UFC Undisputed 2010 was the third place game this month across all platforms, with 413,400 units sold for publisher THQ, it significantly underperformed compared to the debut of its 2009 predecessor, selling fewer than half the units that game did in its launch month.

1. Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego/Take-Two, Xbox 360), 945,900
2. Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar San Diego/Take-Two, PS3), 567,100
3. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Nintendo, Wii), 563,900
4. UFC 2010: Undisputed (Yuke's/THQ, Xbox 360), 221,100
5. UFC 2010: Undisputed (Yuke's/THQ, PS3), 192,300
6. Wii Fit Plus (Nintendo, Wii)
7. New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Nintendo, Wii)
8. Alan Wake (Remedy/Microsoft, Xbox 360)
9. Pokemon SoulSilver Version (Game Freak/Nintendo, NDS)
10. Skate 3 (EA Canada/Electronic Arts, Xbox 360)

Hardware

Hardware was the big loser for the month, dropping 20 percent from $303.0 million last May to $241.5 million this May. Nintendo platforms stood head and shoulders above the competition, with both Wii and Nintendo DS exceeding the 300,000 mark and no other system reaching 200,000.

The revenue decline isn't due to unit sales declining overall, however -- it's due to the overall aggregate price decreases.

"The portable hardware category contributed the most to the decline in hardware sales for the month, yet the NDS is the best-selling hardware system for May."

"Console hardware unit sales are, in fact, flat to last year. Declines in sales result from a lower average selling price this year compared to last," said Frazier.

1. Nintendo DS: 383,700
2. Wii: 334,800
3. Xbox 360: 194,600
4. PlayStation 3: 154,500
5. PSP: 59,400


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Comments


Camilo R
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I'm surprised the 360 did so well with the imminent release of 360 slim, guess people really didn't know about it. Must be one of the few bit of information actually kept secret. Good showing for Nintendo.

Steven Ulakovich
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As expected, Alan Wake did not fair well going head to head with Red Dead.



June's should be interesting with the Slim out for a couple weeks.

Adam Bishop
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I'm not sure entirely how much stock we can put into these numbers. For example, Take 2 announced early in June that Red Dead Redemption had already sold 5 million copies, while the NPD numbers show only about a third of that total. If the NPDs are missing 2/3 of the revenue, it's hard to know exactly what the state of the industry is based on their reports.

John Gordon
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"The portable hardware category contributed the most to the decline in hardware sales for the month, yet the NDS is the best-selling hardware system for May."



It sounds like the decline is due almost entirely to the PSP. The decline is mostly from handheld hardware even though the NDS is selling great. It seems like Sony hasn't done much for the PSP in North America. Currently the system is being propped up by a few third party Japanese games that manage to make it to the US.

Kevin Jones
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@ Adam Bishop



" I'm not sure entirely how much stock we can put into these numbers. For example, Take 2 announced early in June that Red Dead Redemption had already sold 5 million copies, while the NPD numbers show only about a third of that total. If the NPDs are missing 2/3 of the revenue, it's hard to know exactly what the state of the industry is based on their reports. "



Huh?

You are kidding right?

# 1. Red Dead Redemption's 5 million figure includes the worldwide sales, not just US sales. In the UK alone, Red Dead was # 1 in Charttrcak charts for 5 straight weeks, and still outsold Mario Galaxy 2 even in the week that Mario Galaxy 2 was released.

http://www.chart-track.co.uk/?i=879&s=1111

http://www.chart-track.co.uk/?i=872&s=1111

In the rest of Europe, RDR as been # 1 in practically every country as well.



# 2. The 1.5 million NPD sale figure for Red Dead Redemption is only for May. It does not include the whole of June which just ended. Red Dead Redemption will have pretty solid sales in June NPD as well.

# 3. Take Two's 5 million figure is total shipped figures, not sold to consumers figures.

T K
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Take2 announced a "ship in" number of 5M and thats a worldwide number. Ship in does not equal to sell thru. NPD tracks sell thru. Also NPD is just the U.S. so if you roughly doubled the number to capture Europe, then the approximate sell thru would be ~3M units. The ~3M global sell thru would compare to the 5M that Take2 shipped into the channel. There is always some amount that will be inventory so the NPD number in fact is accurate and correlates to the Take2 number.

T K
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NDS is not selling great. NDS software is down massively. Piracy is absolutely killing the DS software market.

Leon T
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The Wii , PS3 and 360 are up yoy.



NPD Sales Results for May 2009

Data care of NPD Group





PlayStation 2 117K

PlayStation 3 131K

PSP 100.4K

Xbox 360 175K

Wii 289.5K

Nintendo DS 633.5K





The 360 and Wii are up month to month too.



Reporting Period: 4/04/2010 through 5/01/2010



PlayStation 3 180.8K

PSP 65.5K

Xbox 360 185.4K

Wii 277.2K

Nintendo DS 440.8K





Of course being up month and year means very little this late in the generation I still think it is interesting.Anyway It is also interesting that NSMB Wii has been in the top ten all year.



So in other news the psp is dead. The DS dying means nothing since it sells more than anything else and the 3DS is not to far off.

Ken Masters
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Wii finally up YoY. Nobody mentions it though. Plenty of damage control for the PS3 though (and 360 to a lesser extent).



NPD is pretty disappointing with not releasing numbers for the top 10 anymore.

Kevin Jones
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@ Ken Masters



" Wii finally up YoY. Nobody mentions it though. Plenty of damage control for the PS3 though (and 360 to a lesser extent). "



The Wii is still massively DOWN YTD from last year.

Plus the Wii had the Black Wii launched in May which increased sales.

Let's see how the Wii does in June NPD shall we?

Meanwhile, the 360 is up YTD this year, despite the fact that this is the 360's 5th year. I remember plenty of Witards swearing on here that the 360 would not increase sales in it's 5th year.

In addition, the launch of the 360 S will see a very solid June for the 360, which will easily outsell the Wii for June.

Plus YTD (as well as for the month of June), the 360 has generated more reveues than the Wii, and more revenues than any other platform.



NPD: As far as platform comparisons, Frazier also noted that the Xbox 360 platform, including software and hardware overall, "contributed the greatest share of revenue to industry sales for the month, and year-to-date."

Kevin Jones
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@ Christian Keichel



"Yes, I think this is what some people meant, when they talked about long legs, I remember a FPS, that was supposed to have those long legs, it was released in November 2009 and dropped out of the NPD Top 10 after February 2010. "





Nice try.

MW2 has been in the NPD top 20 even by individual platforms. Combined, MW2 would be in the top 10 every month.

Plus MW2 has continued to consistently outsell NSMB in the UK Charttrack charts every single week, including this very week, since it was launched in November last year (apart from just one week).

Plus worldwide, MW2 has vastly outsold NSMB (Wii) LTD. Its not even close.

E Zachary Knight
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Kevin,



"Meanwhile, the 360 is up YTD this year, despite the fact that this is the 360's 5th year. I remember plenty of Witards swearing on here that the 360 would not increase sales in it's 5th year."



I don't remember anything like that. But I do remember plenty of PS360 fanboys claiming that Wii sales in the first 2 years were a fad and that sales would tank after the 3rd. I am still waiting for that prediction to come to fruition.



But I do agree that we could see a huge spike for 360 sales in June due to the new hardware model as people are upgrading from their old, less reliable systems.



I am very curious to see the full year's sales for all three consoles. We have a new black Wii and the new Wii bundle with Motion+ and Wii Sports Resort. We have a 360 redesign that is supposed to be Red Ring proof and two new motion control systems from Sony and Microsoft.



This will be a very interesting year indeed.

Kevin Jones
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@ Ephriam Knight:



"I don't remember anything like that."



You wouldn't would you?

Good thing is, I do. I had a pretty long argument with the Wiitards over that very subject.

E Zachary Knight
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@Kevin,



You're right, I wouldn't. While I have been a pretty avid supporter and defender of the Wii, I have never really spent much if any time attacking the 360 or PS3. I also tend to avoid flame wars like that.

Kevin Jones
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@ Christian Keichel





"Who cares about the Top 20? Who cares about the UK Charttrack charts?"



I do, and so do NPD(who release the monthly top 20) and Charttrack and video game buyers in the UK.

Real question is, who cares what you think, whatever the heck country you live in?





"The UK is only a part of the european market and not even the biggest single market in the europe."





The UK just happens o be one of the biggest games markets on the planet, and has the highest games sales rates per capita of any country on the planet.

In addition, MW2 sold vastly more in te UK tan in any oter country in Europe, only beatan by MW2 sales in the US. Pretty impressive when you consider that Germany has a much bigger population than the UK.





"To say combined the game would be in the Top 10 means, you have access to the complete sales numbers of the NPD charts, which is something I highly doubt"



I could say I highly doubt if you are even sane. That doesnt neceesarily mean you are nuts. You could be tough.

Point being, you have no idea what data I have or don't have access to.

In addition, I dont even need to have private access to all NPD figurers to determine that MW2 would have been in the top 10 for March and April. Its easy enough to work that out from publicly available figures from various video game web sites.

Kevin Jones
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As fas as I know, they didn't even released the Top 20 for quite a while now, only the Top 10 and from these Top 10, they only provide sales numbers for the Top 5 since March 2010.





Goes to show you dont know much doesn't it?

Figures for most of the 11-20 NPD ranked games regularly leak out every month.

You need to check sites like IGN and Negaf.





"The argument was, that CoD MW2 hadn't such long legs as NSMB Wii and the NPD charts of 2010 are the proof for that."



No.

The argument was that NSMB(Wii) would outsell MW2 because of it's "long legs".

As at today, 8 full months after launch, MW2 is ahead of NSMB by approx 6 million, and still outselling NSMB every week in the UK Carttrrack charts. The UK Charttrack charts, were MW2 continues to clobber NSMB every single week, prove you wrong!





"Do you mind telling us, where anybody said that the 360 would not increase in sales, cause it was in it's 5th year? I don't remember it either"





You wouldn't would you?

Heck, you even just denied that you swore that NSMB would outsell MW2 because of its "long legs" (Not gonna happen).

You have a very, very selective memory dont' ya?

Kevin Jones
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@ Christian Keichel



"The magic word here is leak, which means, those ranks 11-20 are not confirmed by the NPD and so not thrustworthy. "





When 11-20 figures leak out from IGN or any reputable web site(inlcuding Gamssutra), they make it clear, the figures are direct from NPD. Tey are every bit as valid as te top 10 fiugres.





"And what does this tell us about the long legs, that MW2 has in worldwide sales?"





It tells us that MW2 is STILL outselling NSMB(Wii) every single week in the UK. It has had longer and stronger legs than NSMB (Wii).

This was after selling a stunnin 1.78 million units in the first week alone in the UK, yet its still going strong.





"The fact remains, that other single markets in europe are bigger in terms of revenue, than the UK,"



Fact remains that MW2(which is the game we are talkin about here), sold VASTLY more in the UK than in any other European country.

John Giordano
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Here comes Kevin Jones again. Spouting senseless, biased bickering trying to defend his console/game of choice. Please don't encourage him.

John Gordon
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According to this CNBS slideshow NSMB Wii has sold about 14.7 million worldwide while Modern Warfare 2 has sold about 14 million. (This slideshow was made right before E3.)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/37616179?slide=11

http://www.cnbc.com/id/37616179?slide=10



Both games have done very well for themselves, but it's clear MW 2 has almost all of its sales behind it while NSMB Wii remains in the NPD Top 10 month after month.

E Zachary Knight
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@John Gordon,



Don't link to actual facts and evidence. You will make Kevin cry. I know he hasn't provided a single link to back up any of his claims, but he must be right because he said it.

Leon T
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I really don't know why anyway responds to Kevin Jones anymore. It is pretty clear that he is paid to do this, because I don't believe that he would waste all that effort for nothing. That would just be sad.



@Ephriam

I think it will be interesting too. Nintendo has started a new marketing push for the new Wii bundle so that may increase sales a bit too. Maybe the holiday sales will only show the Wii beating the other consoles instead of totally crushing them.



Oh and the Wii is still tracking well ahead of the PS2 in the US for the same time period so being down ytd means nothing overall. That is what Nintendo measures the Wii by.

Kez Keenan
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If only there was a spam or ignore button. Hate fanboys, it's impossible to have any type of conversation without them spamming their poorly thought out point of view.

Mike Siciliano
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"PS3 and 360 Combined MW 2 sales are around 19.21 million copies World Wide.

New Super Mario Bros Wii are around 15 million world wide. So unless we are counting the copies of the PC version. That's only a difference of 4 to 5 million copies sold. With the continuing strong sales in the US and Japan. It's only a matter of time before it surpass MW2. The real question is which game will still be selling this holiday season. I bet my money on New Super Mario Bros Wii."



Nope. As John Gordon has linked, Modern Warfare 2's worldwide numbers were last reported at 14 million, while New Super Mario Bros. was reported at 14.7 million (http://www.cnbc.com/id/37616179?slide=11

http://www.cnbc.com/id/37616179?slide=10).

John Giordano
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@ Mike

http://e3.gamespot.com/story/6265569/modern-warfare-2-sells-20-mi
llion-activision-eyeing-used-market



We have to celebrate because this is the first "HD" game to even reach 20 million (combined sales mind you). It certainly surprised me, I'll admit! *claps hands for MW2*



And yes, doesn't Activision deserve all that money? Sure they do! Congrats to Activision and Long Live Bobby Kotnick!

Kevin Jones
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@ Mike Siciliano:





"Nope. As John Gordon has linked, Modern Warfare 2's worldwide numbers were last reported at 14 million, while New Super Mario Bros. was reported at 14.7 million (http://www.cnbc.com/id/37616179?slide=11

http://www.cnbc.com/id/37616179?slide=10). "





Where do you Wiitard clowns get off spreading false data all over the internet anyways?

The last OFFICIAL MW2 sales figures given by Activision themselves (both CEO Kottick and CFO CFO Thomas Tippl ) was during E3:



"E3: Modern Warfare 2 Has Sold 20 Million Copies

Posted June 15, 2010 by Ben Strauss



Activision’s fastest selling Call of Duty title has just hit a big milestone recently, as 20 million copies of Modern Warfare 2 have been sold since the release on November 10, 2009.



During the publisher’s conference at E3 2010, Activision CFO Thomas Tippl announced the big news, “Modern Warfare 2 has sold more than 20 million units against an install base of 55 million on Xbox 360 and PS3.”



CEO Bobby Kotick also jumped on the news, stating, “The Call of Duty franchise has reached life-to-date revenues of $3 billion.”

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/e3-modern-warfare-2-has-sold-2
0-million-copies/

Kevin Jones
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@ Ephriam Knight



" John Gordon,Don't link to actual facts and evidence. You will make Kevin cry. I know he hasn't provided a single link to back up any of his claims, but he must be right because he said it. "'



Look, if you want to shill, at least make some attempt to use your commone sense before you shill will ya?

John Gordon's figures are pure garbage.

MW2 as sold over 14 million in the UK and the US combined alone (over 3.5 million sold in te UK and over 10.5 million sold in te US). Going by your theory, MW2 sold ZERO units in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, Norway, Sweden and every other country on the planet, from te UK and the US.

/srac..Yea..that makes ense alright. NOT!

Reality:

MW2 as already sold 20 million units already, as compared to only 14.7 million units for NSMB Wii., and and is still outselling NSMB every signle week in the UK and a lot of PAL charts.

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/e3-modern-warfare-2-has-sold-2
0-million-copies/

John Giordano
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@Kevin



I, for one, will concede defeat to you Kevin Jones, the almighty game analyst. Congrats for having 1 HD game that has sold over 20 million! May the celebration in your heart last forever!



Sure, Nintendo has all the "other" titles in the 20m club... but... that's not important.



New Super Mario Bros Wii is not important because 15m is not good sales. Compared to Modern Warfare, 15 million is a spit in the bucket! Did we seriously think a 2d platform would outsell the almighty CALL OF DUTY!



And, yes, perhaps it outsold Halo 3, Gears of War, Grand Theft Auto 4, and Call of Duty 4.... but that doesn't matter anymore because Modern Warfare 2 has set the new standard. All HD games released after this will sell around the same level as Modern Warfare 2.



And New Super Mario Bros, by the way, will suddenly stop selling next month. Sure it's making the NPD top ten list 6 months after it's release, but it will suddenly stop selling and there's no way it will ever come back.



All Hail Kevin Jones, the all-wise, all-knowing viral marketer for Activision!

Mike Siciliano
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I love being called a "Wiitard clown" for referencing a CNBC report that somebody else linked. Highly amusing. Yes, I, a lowly Gamasutra poster, drafted the CNBC report myself and spread "false data all over the internet." All the while I didn't even know I was a CNBC reporter!



I wish I had the latent anger and motivation to spew forth vitriolic comments as well, but unfortunately I'm a just a bit lethargic in that regard at the moment.



However, I decided to take a look at those numbers since, well, why not?



I added up all the NPD numbers of Modern Warfare 2 for both consoles (before the game dropped below the Top 10 or whatever where you no longer get numbers) and it only amounted to 9,950,000. Those are official U.S. numbers.



So then I tried to find total UK numbers. About all I found was somewhere around 2,800,000. I'm sure they're a little higher than that, but not by much.



Japan? Only found numbers around 117,000 or so. Wasn't a big hit in Japan.



The total for all those official numbers? About 14,000,000. The same numbers CNBC reported.



Sounds to me like CNBC reported actual numbers while Activision probably relied upon VGChartz numbers, which claim to hover around 20 million.



Oh, and G4 also reported Modern Warfare 2 at 14,000,000 around the same time CNBC did. But shhhhhhh. Don't tell Kevin!

John Giordano
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"Activision probably relied upon VGChartz numbers"



That's right, Activision puts the most important part of their business in the hands of "VGChartz numbers". I'm sure they have a crack team of accountants going over VGChartz right now and copying the numbers down into their financial reports. Investors will never know!


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