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Analysis: May 2009's PlayStation Network Hits, Misses

Analysis: May 2009's PlayStation Network Hits, Misses Exclusive

June 25, 2009 | By Ryan Langley




[Gamasutra takes a look at Sony's PlayStation Network PS3 downloadable game sales, courtesy of sister site GamerBytes' Ryan Langley, with an exclusive U.S. May Top 10 showing how new titles like Zen Pinball and Puzzle Quest Galactrix did compared to perennials like Worms.]

Were taking a look at the Top 10 PlayStation Network titles for May 2009, supplied to us through Sony's PlayStation press representatives, following our recent look at Xbox Live Arcade sales for May 2009.

The PlayStation Network received 3 new downloadable PlayStation 3 titles during May 2009 Puzzle Quest Galactrix, Zen Pinball and Texas Cheatem.

All of these games must battle against recent notable PSN titles such as Flower and continued perennial top-sellers such as Mortal Kombat II.

In this analysis, we'll look to see how well each title did, see which games released for PSN in April 2009 were able to hold on, and try to determine what trends might be gaining traction in this downloadable space.

Here's the North American Top 10 for PlayStation Network games on the PS3 for May 2009:

toppsnmay.png


The Zen Of Cheating

Zen Studios Zen Pinball was the best-selling game on the PlayStation Network for May, and from data we have picked from the game's Leaderboards, we can see that the title has had well over 50,000 people playing for long enough to post a high score.

Zen Studios Pinball FX did similarly well on Xbox Live Arcade, and since its release has had well over 250,000 players on its own Xbox 360 Leaderboards. This is a good return to form for Zen Studios after the firm's previous release, Rocky & Bullwinkle on Xbox Live Arcade, was poorly reviewed and apparently did badly on the marketplace.

With Sonys ability to push out large patches for the PlayStation Network releases, as well as their support for long lasting downloadable content, we should hopefully see a ton of new pinball tables pushed out on the platform. I wouldnt even be too surprised if we start seeing PlayStation brands make an appearance Im sure a LittleBigPlanet table might go over quite well.

The other two new releases were Texas Cheatem and Puzzle Quest Galactrix, but neither game made it to the Top 10 overall for the month. While Galactrix faired okay on Xbox Live Arcade it did quickly drop from the Top 10 list, but Texas Cheatem never made the Major Nelson list in its release week, and we expect that it didnt fare too well here either.

Bionic Bargains

Bionic Commando Rearmed reappeared on the charts with its week long price cut to $4.99, but was only able to make it to 9th place. The sale was timed to go along with the release of the new retail game, and though it did better with this price drop, it doesnt appear to have risen up the charts quite as high as it might have. The news of Bionic Commando not getting Trophies, which was then redacted, and the poor reception of the new title may have put people off somewhat?

SIREN: Blood Curse was also made cheaper for a week, from $39.99 to $29.99. However, the episodic title does not appear to have boosted its numbers enough to make it to the Top 10.

It must also be noted that, while it may appear that Rag Doll Kung Fu dropped quite a lot compared to its first month, where it topped the PSN list, the game was made completely free for a single week during May, thanks to collaboration between Sony and Sprint. But this PSN Top 10 list is paid-only, and does not include the time period when the game was free.

Noby Noby Boy Drops From The Charts

Dropping off the charts entirely this month is Comet Crash, which made its way to 6th place in April, as well as Noby Noby Boy, which held on at 9th last month. Using the Noby Noby Boy stats application, created by user Alts on the NeoGAF forums, we can see that 7,671 new players worldwide reported to GIRL in the month of May. That figure (which may be an underestimate of sales) is fairly good for a game thats 3 months old now, but I imagine creator Keita Takahashi and Namco hope for a much larger number, considering the game's price.

Team 17's seminal title Worms continues to sell very well on PSN, and appears to be following the same pattern as Worms on the Xbox Live Arcade. In addition, Wheel of Fortune and Flower continue to sell very well, though it is surprising to see Flower fall marginally more than Wheel Of Fortune has. Mortal Kombat II continues its incredible pace. It was the 3rd best selling title of the month after being out for over 2 years it's truly the UNO of the PlayStation Network.

An additional note of interest -- Bionic Commando Rearmed was the only multiplatform title that was able to make it onto the Top 10. If it werent for the sale, the PSN list may have been completely comprised of PlayStation 3-exclusive titles.

Looking forward, June will include several new multiplatform titles such as Wolfenstein 3D, Gunstar Heroes and CellFactor: Psychokinetic Wars, some remade titles also available on XBLA in some form such as Bomberman Ultra and Heavy Weapon, and PlayStation Network exclusives such as Trash Panic. All of these titles have a decent chance at making it to the Top 10, and well be back next month with a new rundown covering it.

[Thanks to Sony and Porter Novelli for releasing these statistics, and we'd like to also acknowledge my colleagues at Gamasutra and on NeoGAF for spurring discussion and bringing more analysis to the table.]


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