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April 2016 NPD Thread! Hardware and software up!

Forums - Sales Discussion - April 2016 NPD Thread! Hardware and software up!

Mazzy said:

Hmm, I suppose it becomes a high risk, high reward type of situation. Crank up the dev team size, do a massive marketing blitz, and churn it out as quick as the team can. There's the potential to make huge profit and reach much higher numbers due to increased marketing and mindshare if it succeeds, but if it fails you're in a pretty bad spot. I suppose that's why one screwup can have a studio shut down or an IP dying off.

Wonder what Battleborn means for Gearbox and 2K. Huge budget and marketing campaign and the sales were completely lukewarm as Overwatch ate its lunch. Only `~100-110k Steam owners according to Steamspy, and Amazon charts and UK sales numbers paint a very grim outlook for sales on the console side as well. Quantum Break as well, and I'll be honest I don't see Microsoft continuing to work with Remedy after Quantum Break. 

Fortunately I don't care for either of these companies, but it makes me a bit uneasy to know there's not enough people out there who enjoy the games that I do to have them made, or to have them be successes if they are made. It's much safer to churn out another derivative sequel, another open world MMO-lite, another climb-the-radio-tower open world game. Shit sucks.

While all you say is very true (and very depressing) I think we are starting to see that these derivative games with massive marketing muscle are losing steam post launch. Just look at the Division: it's basically a poster child for derivative uninspired game design propped up by an awe inspiring marketing campaign. While it sold remarkably well its first month it's practically dropped off the face of the earth in the following month. Then when you look at successful new IPs like Destiny or even new twists on existing IP like Far Cry Primal You see that these titles tend to have very very long legs selling well off of WOM between friends and social media.

I think WOM is slowly but surely replacing massive marketing campaigns as the core driver of sales but I digress. I think we are starting to witness a growing disillusionment with sequels and formulas. Increasingly these sorts of titles are so heavily skewed towards debut sales figures which perpetually feeds the need for more and more bombastic marketing budgets to ensure those figures are profitable ones. This stands in stark contrast to the profitable new IPs this gen that have gone on to sell remarkably well for months and months after their initial release (see  Splatoon or Minecraft) despite generally having a fraction of the marketing money you would see behind these big sequels.

While there will always be exceptions of existing IPs just being constant awe inspiring blockbusters like CoD or GTA I do think that the market is responding well to new fresh ideas as can be evidenced by the extended sales lifetime of these titles. I also think we are starting to see a shift towards the sales power of WOM over marketing $ (for a recent example see Rachet and Clank). At the same time it's not enough to just be a new IP as only new IPs offering something unique, exceptionally well polished or remarkable are getting far better sales than their otherwise meager marketing budgets would imply. So while the current market reality of predictable IP farms and derivative game design is a sad sight to behold I do think consumers are showing more and more that what they want are new ideas and fresh concepts. But I could be wrong this is just the impressions I get from the context of successful new IP sales figures thus far this gen.



poklane said:
According to a junior on NeoGAF Ratchet and Clank is just below 218k
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=204240636&postcount=2499
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=204240981&postcount=2502
Any chance you can confirm or deny this Aqua?

Where are all these random, incredibly bold people on NeoGAF coming from?

 

First Lupin the Third:

"First off, Wii U was 32k, not 64k. 3DS was 75k. 

Lifetime NPD HW sales: PS4 13.5m, X1 11.9m, 3DS 17m, WiiU 5.2m

Have a great day. EDIT: Also blew me away to learn PS4 and X1 are as close as they are. You'd think Xbox One was a massive distant 2nd but those numbers ain't so far apart to me. Mostly just wanted to share that little tidbit with you guys; don't wanna lose NPD access so I'm done. Have fun!"

 

Then KawabataSan, a Junior Member:

"R&C is 2x QB. exact is slight more"

 

Two people who have never made a single leak or made any inclination of having data before. Does KawabataSan really have NPD data, or is that conjecture based on my post?

I said:

Between 207.5k (highest selling Ratchet game) and 237k

Interestingly enough, the mid-point between my 207.5K and 237K range is 222.5K, which coincidentially is slightly more than 2x more than the numbers I gave for Quantum Break (109K)...exactly what KawabataSan said in his post!

Suspicious, isn't it?

What do YOU think?

 

RexNovis said:
Mazzy said:

Hmm, I suppose it becomes a high risk, high reward type of situation. Crank up the dev team size, do a massive marketing blitz, and churn it out as quick as the team can. There's the potential to make huge profit and reach much higher numbers due to increased marketing and mindshare if it succeeds, but if it fails you're in a pretty bad spot. I suppose that's why one screwup can have a studio shut down or an IP dying off.

Wonder what Battleborn means for Gearbox and 2K. Huge budget and marketing campaign and the sales were completely lukewarm as Overwatch ate its lunch. Only `~100-110k Steam owners according to Steamspy, and Amazon charts and UK sales numbers paint a very grim outlook for sales on the console side as well. Quantum Break as well, and I'll be honest I don't see Microsoft continuing to work with Remedy after Quantum Break. 

Fortunately I don't care for either of these companies, but it makes me a bit uneasy to know there's not enough people out there who enjoy the games that I do to have them made, or to have them be successes if they are made. It's much safer to churn out another derivative sequel, another open world MMO-lite, another climb-the-radio-tower open world game. Shit sucks.

While all you say is very true (and very depressing) I think we are starting to see that these derivative games with massive marketing muscle are losing steam post launch. Just look at the Division: it's basically a poster child for derivative uninspired game design propped up by an awe inspiring marketing campaign. While it sold remarkably well its first month it's practically dropped off the face of the earth in the following month. Then when you look at successful new IPs like Destiny or even new twists on existing IP like Far Cry Primal You see that these titles tend to have very very long legs selling well off of WOM between friends and social media.

I think WOM is slowly but surely replacing massive marketing campaigns as the core driver of sales but I digress. I think we are starting to witness a growing disillusionment with sequels and formulas. Increasingly these sorts of titles are so heavily skewed towards debut sales figures which perpetually feeds the need for more and more bombastic marketing budgets to ensure those figures are profitable ones. This stands in stark contrast to the profitable new IPs this gen that have gone on to sell remarkably well for months and months after their initial release (see  Splatoon or Minecraft) despite generally having a fraction of the marketing money you would see behind these big sequels.

While there will always be exceptions of existing IPs just being constant awe inspiring blockbusters like CoD or GTA I do think that the market is responding well to new fresh ideas as can be evidenced by the extended sales lifetime of these titles. I also think we are starting to see a shift towards the sales power of WOM over marketing $ (for a recent example see Rachet and Clank). At the same time it's not enough to just be a new IP as only new IPs offering something unique, exceptionally well polished or remarkable are getting far better sales than their otherwise meager marketing budgets would imply. So while the current market reality of predictable IP farms and derivative game design is a sad sight to behold I do think consumers are showing more and more that what they want are new ideas and fresh concepts. But I could be wrong this is just the impressions I get from the context of successful new IP sales figures thus far this gen.

The derivative nature of modern games that's pushing people towards the flourishing (albeit over-saturated) indie market is completely due to the huge budgets of modern video games. Shuhei Yoshida said that top PS4 games are frequently >$50 million to create. Yves Guillemot said their average budget for a PS4 game would be $60 million. Take Two also stated that its top games are >$60 million just for development alone.

You need at least two million copies sold at $30 of profit per copy to recoup that. And I'm sure $60 million is on the low end for many titles.

To accomplish that, studios and publishers are terrified of taking significant risks. It's clear people want them, true, but the video game industry is one of the most risky bets you can take....there have been some colossal failures out there. If you're a company who's well-oriented for traditional game development like Electronic Arts, it's really hard to break out of that conservative business mold. I agree, it totally makes sense for companies to start taking risks and innovating beyond slapping a fresh coat of paint on the same derivative blandness. But a lot of them are stuck.

Battlefield One has had amazing reception just because it eschewed the modern trend that have encumbered the FPS industry as of late. Splatoon was Nintendo's most successful game of 2015 sales-wise. Everybody wants something new...but they just can't deliver it and justify the risk they incur.

What I have noticed is how dispassionate the Internet community is about the tentpole games. While they still sell well at retail, their Internet presence continues to wane with each passing year. You can even see it on these NPD threads. I gave EA Sports sales figures for this month, and literally nobody said a single word about them. And, nobody bothered to cross-post it to GAF either. Such a fascinating trend that even extends to this little niche.



Aquamarine said:

 snip

Just wanted to say I always appreciate your posts, not just your leaked numbers, but your analyses and your personal musings. Very well-written and insightful. 



Aquamarine said:

*Snip*

I don't know about the other guy, but KawabataSan isn't the first time he say some leaks.

He said in February NPD that GTA V lifetime is over 18 million (i guess he mean withouth bundle).

 

Maybe you can see if he is right and we can be sure he is legit?



RexNovis said:
Mazzy said:

Hmm, I suppose it becomes a high risk, high reward type of situation. Crank up the dev team size, do a massive marketing blitz, and churn it out as quick as the team can. There's the potential to make huge profit and reach much higher numbers due to increased marketing and mindshare if it succeeds, but if it fails you're in a pretty bad spot. I suppose that's why one screwup can have a studio shut down or an IP dying off.

Wonder what Battleborn means for Gearbox and 2K. Huge budget and marketing campaign and the sales were completely lukewarm as Overwatch ate its lunch. Only `~100-110k Steam owners according to Steamspy, and Amazon charts and UK sales numbers paint a very grim outlook for sales on the console side as well. Quantum Break as well, and I'll be honest I don't see Microsoft continuing to work with Remedy after Quantum Break. 

Fortunately I don't care for either of these companies, but it makes me a bit uneasy to know there's not enough people out there who enjoy the games that I do to have them made, or to have them be successes if they are made. It's much safer to churn out another derivative sequel, another open world MMO-lite, another climb-the-radio-tower open world game. Shit sucks.

While all you say is very true (and very depressing) I think we are starting to see that these derivative games with massive marketing muscle are losing steam post launch. Just look at the Division: it's basically a poster child for derivative uninspired game design propped up by an awe inspiring marketing campaign. While it sold remarkably well its first month it's practically dropped off the face of the earth in the following month. Then when you look at successful new IPs like Destiny or even new twists on existing IP like Far Cry Primal You see that these titles tend to have very very long legs selling well off of WOM between friends and social media.

I think WOM is slowly but surely replacing massive marketing campaigns as the core driver of sales but I digress. I think we are starting to witness a growing disillusionment with sequels and formulas. Increasingly these sorts of titles are so heavily skewed towards debut sales figures which perpetually feeds the need for more and more bombastic marketing budgets to ensure those figures are profitable ones. This stands in stark contrast to the profitable new IPs this gen that have gone on to sell remarkably well for months and months after their initial release (see  Splatoon or Minecraft) despite generally having a fraction of the marketing money you would see behind these big sequels.

While there will always be exceptions of existing IPs just being constant awe inspiring blockbusters like CoD or GTA I do think that the market is responding well to new fresh ideas as can be evidenced by the extended sales lifetime of these titles. I also think we are starting to see a shift towards the sales power of WOM over marketing $ (for a recent example see Rachet and Clank). At the same time it's not enough to just be a new IP as only new IPs offering something unique, exceptionally well polished or remarkable are getting far better sales than their otherwise meager marketing budgets would imply. So while the current market reality of predictable IP farms and derivative game design is a sad sight to behold I do think consumers are showing more and more that what they want are new ideas and fresh concepts. But I could be wrong this is just the impressions I get from the context of successful new IP sales figures thus far this gen.

GTA is not derivative. Rockstar has innovated a lot with the series with each iteration and they are of top notch quality.



ESA data is out:

 

Top 20 Selling VIDEO GAMES of 2015 BY UNITS SOLD (Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service)

1 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS III (M)

2 MADDEN NFL 16 (E)

3 FALLOUT 4 (M)

4 STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT 2015 (T)

5 NBA 2K16 (E)

6 GRAND THEFT AUTO V (M)

7 MINECRAFT (E 10+)

8 MORTAL KOMBAT X (M)

9 FIFA 16 (E)

10 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE (M)

11 BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT (M)

12 LEGO: JURASSIC WORLD (E)

13 BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE (M)

14 HALO 5: GUARDIANS (T)

15 SUPER SMASH BROS. (E)

16 THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT (M)

17 DYING LIGHT (M)

18 DESTINY: THE TAKEN KING (T)

19 NBA 2K15 (E)

20 METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN (M)

 

Top 20 Selling COMPUTER Games of 2015 BY UNITS SOLD (Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service):

1 THE SIMS 4 (T)

2 FALLOUT 4 (M)

3 THE SIMS 3: STARTER PACK (T)

4 THE SIMS 4 GET TO WORK EXPANSION PACK (T)

5 STARCRAFT II: LEGACY OF THE VOID (T)

6 ELDER SCROLLS V: SKYRIM (M)

7 FALLOUT ANTHOLOGY (M)

8 GRAND THEFT AUTO V (M)

9 WORLD OF WARCRAFT: WARLORDS OF DRAENOR EXPANSION PACK (T)

10 STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT 2015 (T)

11 THE SIMS 3: PETS (T)

12 THE SIMS 3 SEASONS EXPANSION PACK (T)

13 DIABLO III: REAPER OF SOULS (M)

14 DIABLO III (M)

15 THE SIMS 3: ISLAND PARADISE EXPANSION PACK (T)

16 THE SIMS 3: UNIVERSITY LIFE EXPANSION PACK (T)

17 THE SIMS 3: SUPERNATURAL EXPANSION PACK (T)

18 STARCRAFT II: WINGS OF LIBERTY (T)

19 SIM CITY 2013 (E 10+)

20 WORLD OF WARCRAFT: BATTLE CHEST 2013 (T)

 

Best-Selling VIDEO GAME Super Genres by Units Sold, 2015 (Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service) 

1) 24.5% Shooter

2) 22.9% Action 

3) 13.2% Sport games

4) 11.6% Role-playing

5) 7.7% Adventure

6) 6.7% Fighting

7) 4.1% Racing

8)3.8% Strategy

9) 3.6% Family entertainment

10) 0.9% Casual

11) 0.8% Other games/compilations

 

Top 20 Selling COMPUTER Games of 2015 BY UNITS SOLD (Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service) 

1) 36.4% Strategy

2) 25.8% Casual

3) 18.7% Role-playing

4) 6.3% Shooter

5) 5.9% Adventure

6) 4.1% Action

7) 1.3% Other games/compilations

8) 0.6% Flight

9) 0.3% Family Entertainment

10) 0.3% Racing

11) 0.2% Sports

12) 0.1% Arcade

13) 0.1% Children's entertainment

 

 

Digital vs. Physical Sales Information (Source: The NPD Group/Games Market Dynamics: U.S.):

Please note: digital format sales include subscriptions, digital full games, digital add-on content, mobile apps, and social network gaming.

2010: 71% physical, 29% digital

2011: 68% physical, 32% digital

2012: 59% physical, 41% digital

2013: 53% physical, 47% digital

2014: 48% physical, 52% digital

2015: 44% physical, 56% digital

 



Aquamarine said:

snip

Madden second in 2015 over titles like Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront?? Is that normal? That seems like very high sales, NBA 2k as well.



Mazzy said:
Aquamarine said:

snip

Madden second in 2015 over titles like Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront?? Is that normal? That seems like very high sales, NBA 2k as well.

 

Madden was launched in august, so makes sense. I suppose the game has a nice bump in holidays.



Mazzy said:
Aquamarine said:

snip

Madden second in 2015 over titles like Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront?? Is that normal? That seems like very high sales, NBA 2k as well.

Now including some numbers:

 

Top 20 Selling VIDEO GAMES of 2015 BY UNITS SOLD (Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service)

1 CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS III (M) - 7.750 million

2 MADDEN NFL 16 (E) - 4.337 million

3 FALLOUT 4 (M) - 3.666 million

4 STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT 2015 (T) - 3.568 million

5 NBA 2K16 (E) - 3.304 million

6 GRAND THEFT AUTO V (M)

7 MINECRAFT (E 10+)

8 MORTAL KOMBAT X (M) - 2.364 million

9 FIFA 16 (E) - 2.028 million

10 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE (M)

11 BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT (M) - 1.872 million

12 LEGO: JURASSIC WORLD (E)

13 BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE (M)

14 HALO 5: GUARDIANS (T) - 1.699 million

15 SUPER SMASH BROS. (E)

16 THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT (M) - 1.351 million

17 DYING LIGHT (M) - 1.333 million

18 DESTINY: THE TAKEN KING (T)  (Note: Destiny sold 2.291 million including The Taken King)

19 NBA 2K15 (E)

20 METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN (M) - 1.122 million



Aquamarine said:
Mazzy said:

Madden second in 2015 over titles like Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront?? Is that normal? That seems like very high sales, NBA 2k as well.

snip

Thanks for the numbers, I presume this includes bundles?