Exclusive: The Sims 3 Breaks 800K, Tops U.S. Game Sales In June
Gamasutra can reveal that Electronic Arts' The Sims 3 sold 820,000 retail copies in the United States in June 2009, topping sales charts across all console/PC platforms for the month, according to NPD data provided by the sales tracking firm.
It's rare for PC game sales to be large enough that the game would have figured in the official NPD Top 10, which only includes console games. But in this case, the title sold almost double the Xbox 360 version of Prototype, which topped those charts at 419,000 copies.
The PC title, developed by Electronic Arts' Redwood Shores studio as the latest in the Will Wright-conceived life sim series, is also one of the overall top-selling games released in 2009 for any format.
Information about console game sales published this week and also provided to Gamasutra by NPD, indicates just a few titles -- including UFC 2009 Undisputed and Nintendo's top Wii first-party games -- that have likely done better.
Direct comparisons to early sales of 2004 predecessor The Sims 2 are difficult; that game sold over 1 million units in its first 10 days internationally, with fewer than half of those sales said to be in the US. The Sims 3 has sold nearly that total number in the U.S. alone, but across a period of a calendar month.
[UPDATE: Further archival research by Gamasutra's Matt Matthews reveals EA comments to investors the month after the release of The Sims 2, implying that first month sales were 2.5 million units internationally, and around 700,000 units domestically. This means that The Sims 3's launch may have outpaced its immediate predecessor.]
As a franchise, The Sims had sold over 100 million units as of last April. The core The Sims 2 game sold 4.5 million units before its first expansion pack was released in March 2005. But it remained essentially a permanent fixture on sales charts for years afterwards -- and was the next best-selling game this June after its sequel The Sims 3.
The full list of top PC games in June is as follows:
1. The Sims 3 (EA The Sims Studio, Electronic Arts)
2. The Sims 3 Collector's Edition (EA The Sims Studio, Electronic Arts)
3. The Sims 2 Double Deluxe (EA The Sims Studio, Electronic Arts)
4. World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King (Blizzard Entertainment)
5. World of Warcraft Battle Chest (Blizzard Entertainment)
6. Spore: Galactic Adventures (Maxis, Electronic Arts)
7. World of Warcraft (Blizzard Entertainment)
8. Spore (Maxis, Electronic Arts)
9. Empire: Total War (The Creative Assembly, Sega)
10. StarCraft Battle Chest (Blizzard Entertainment)
11. World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade (Blizzard Entertainment)
12. Reel Deal Slots Adventure (Phantom EFX)
13. Civilization IV: Complete Edition (Firaxis Games, 2K Games)
14. WarCraft III Battle Chest (Blizzard Entertainment)
15. SimCity Box (Maxis, Electronic Arts)
16. Diablo Battle Chest (Blizzard Entertainment)
17. The Sims 2: Apartment Life (EA The Sims Studio, Electronic Arts)
18. Prototype (Radical Entertainment, Activision)
19. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion GOTY Edition (Bethesda Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks/2K Games)
20. Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Terminal Reality, Atari)
(In addition, NPD tracks only U.S. retail numbers; EA also released The Sims 3 across several digital distribution platforms, including its own EA Store.)
So The Sims 3 far outpaced it's predecessor:
- Sims 2 sold 1 millions in 10 days
- Sims 3 sold 1.4 millions in the first week (7 days)
Guessing that Sims 2 should be around 20 millions, there is a strong chance that Sims 3 could finish above 25 millions or even 30 millions! And Sims 3 still hasn't even come out on Steam or Impulse. Sims 3 could very well become the best-selling game ever (non-bundled).
As for the NPD Top20 PC Games of June, everything is pretty much as expected except for Prototype and Ghostbusters showing up.