Analysts predict cold October for game industry

Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter and EEDAR's Jesse Divnich believe software fell 9 to 11 percent last month; Uncharted 2, Borderlands, Wii Fit Plus lead sales.

The NPD Group is expected to release its US retail sales report for the October 4-October 31 period this Thursday, and analysts are largely in agreement that September's meager 5 percent software sales growth won't be repeated. Today, Wedbush Morgan Securities' Michael Pachter and Electronic Entertainment Design and Research's Jesse Divnich delineated their October projections in more granular detail, saying software sales will dip 9 to 11 percent on the month.

Knocking out the competition?

Pachter offered the slightly more optimistic prediction, prognosticating October software sales at $697 million. Top sellers for the month, according to the analyst, were Wii Fit Plus (400,000 units), Brutal Legend (300,000 units), DJ Hero (150,000 units), Borderlands (400,000 units), Uncharted 2, and Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time. Pachter did not offer an estimate on Uncharted 2 and Ratchet & Clank sales, because Wedbush Morgan does not provide analyst coverage of Sony Computer Entertainment.

On the hardware side, Pachter believes the Wii sold 555,000 units, down 31 percent from a year ago, while the Xbox 360 sold 340,000 units, an 8 percent drop. The only console to see year-over-year gains, he predicts, was the PlayStation 3, with sales doubling to 380,000 units.

EEDAR's Jesse Divnich believes software sales came in at $620 million during the October period, with 27 titles selling more than 100,000 units. Sony's highly regarded Uncharted 2 captured the top slot in the sales chart, according to his analysis, selling 601,000 units in the US since its October 13 launch. Divnich believes Nintendo's perennial top sellers Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort fell in at second and third, with respective 450,000-unit and 325,000-unit finishes.

Descending down the chart, Divnich believes the Xbox 360 editions of Borderlands, Halo 3: ODST, Brutal Legend, and NBA 2K10 occupied slots four through seven, selling 300,000, 290,000, 200,000, and 200,000 units, respectively. Also at 200,000 units, according to Divnich, was Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games for the Wii, with Microsoft's Forza Motorsport 3 and the original Wii Fit following at 190,000 and 175,000 units, respectively.

Divnich took particular interest in Atlus' PS3-exclusive Demon's Souls, which he sees as an interesting case study for high-quality games that don't benefit from a large publisher's marketing budget. Released in the US for the PS3 on October 6, the game went on to secure high critical praise.

"Demon's Souls is probably one of the most statistically relevant games released in the gaming world as it helps answer an often asked question: how much would a high quality game sell if it was supported by no mass marketing, released by a little known publisher (no offense to Atlus), and was a new intellectual property," he said. "The answer is, about 30 percent less than the average in the Action/RPG genres." Divnich believes Demon's Souls will sell 100,000 units in October and 250,000 copies by the end of the year.

Looking to hardware, Divnich believes the Wii demand has dipped 21 percent from a year ago, falling to 635,000 units. The Xbox 360 also saw weakening sales compared to a year ago, the analyst projects, falling nearly 25 percent to 280,000. And, like Pachter, Divnich thinks the PS3 saw a substantial boost during the period, rising 68 percent to 320,000 units in October. He also pegged DS sales at 450,000 units, with PSP units coming in at 150,000.

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Discussion

130 comments
TheTHCGamer
TheTHCGamer

@Rottenwood that could also be because those reviewers bought into the hype or were paid off. of course lots of PS3 fans our going to love U2 stating its the game of the year because it reassurance about the console they paid for. i own all 3 consoles this gen and although U2 is amazing i expect more gameplay when a game is this highly rated/hyped up. for me all those things you mentioned were great but in the end you can find that stuff in a movie. when it comes to a game those things matter but what matters the most is playing the game. yes U2 has great gameplay but IMO when you release a platform title thats considered game of the year you shouldnt be able to beat it withing 7-10 hrs. a lot of people that enjoyed U2 have also stated the same thing games great but feels really short and multiplayer feels a little tacked on. this is also just my opinon but its also the opinion of a lot of other people also.

coldsauce09
coldsauce09

@ sonic0491 i have a proper set up and it costs me 700$ a customized bucket seat and a G25(with clutch and 6 gear shifters) and driveFGT for NFSshift. everytime i play racing games and i always use racing wheels and proper set up good thing my dad loves racing sims and he helped me funded it.. i love the box's racing wheel in forza3 but not good played GT5P with G25 its awesome and different. the heel and toe sounds so addicting.

sonic0491
sonic0491

@coldsauce09 Do you have it set up in a proper driving frame or do you you use it on your lap/table? I found Forzas AI to be very stupid. Constantly hits me and pushes me off the track. I havent heard it anywhere else so im rather confused/ annoyed.

coldsauce09
coldsauce09

@ sonic0491 i have both although i dont own a 360 wheel but my friends do. and yea i tried it several times and played shift and forza 3 the feel is fine but no gear stick shifters.. and you know why it feels just right for the box? cuz there are no hardcore racing sim out there yet 4 the box. try drifting in forza 3 it doenst feel ryt...

maverick_76
maverick_76

From what I read Demon's souls is right up my alley. I can't wait to at least rent that game!

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

I am guessing tomorrow they will give us how sales went in April

Jikawa
Jikawa

Sony dissevers chart toppers, they've been behind for a little to long. Uncharted 2 will have the most units sold in October but will be at the mercy of MW2 this month.

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

Yeah I know......It was 58 degrees the most here.

thrasher510
thrasher510

Uncharted 2 and a PSP go in October for me.

breakitapart
breakitapart

I attributed to some of these totals with my purchases of Uncharted 2 and Borderlands. -Both games are recommended. I was interested in Demon Souls however after reading how hard and frustrating the game could be I determined it was not for me. Perhaps when there is nothing else to play and the price is more reasonable then I will jump on the Demonsouls bandwagon.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Borderlands is great, a nice 'under the radar' gaming suprise.

sigerzx
sigerzx

well done naughty dog, you deserve it! :)

Binarynova
Binarynova

This shouldn't be surprising. It's obvious that people were saving their money for an over-crowded November release schedule. :\

cocomacoco
cocomacoco

PSP Go sales in South east Asia are not good at all, and most of my friends said (including me) they prefer the older versions and the Hard data

cocomacoco
cocomacoco

every month sales are crap!, games are not Oreos or fresh produce, they are blockbusters, just imagine, with Dragon Age, and Modern Warfare 2 already out in "NOVEMBER", who's going to spent money in October??,

Waldkrieger
Waldkrieger

Why does anyone care if October sales went down or up? This post is redundant and nonsense. Quit setting around analyzing every little thing, ever month now it seems, and just make great games.

angelGP32
angelGP32

all i really want to know is how well the PSPGo did. But so far all I've seen is how good it did in Japan on day 1.

Zerosumgame
Zerosumgame

No need to predict, we know it is cold.

dstv
dstv

but its already november

bangd_by-nardo
bangd_by-nardo

hey what can us ps3 owner say sony is the s h i t lol i love my ps3 sony we always be on top even on a bad day sorry xbox user yall pay too much money for crazy add on for your system. like the ps3 just about everything is free like online gaming thats important thing us gamer look for. i rather lag a little some time then pay to play online stupid.....

feryl06
feryl06

I predict a sales spike in November's sales growth. Why do people we need these analysts? :)

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

Well demon souls would sold at least one more if it had been released in the UK where the hell is it????

GamerbyDesign
GamerbyDesign

I predict a 9% increase in software sales growth.

Fumanchu2
Fumanchu2

Judging from all of the purely anecdotal evidence I've seen, Borderlands will surprise them.

ASG_
ASG_

Wait, a prediction of the past? Lol'd.

otaku_momo
otaku_momo

@Excedra I still wouldn't get one because of the overpriced accessories, and the rrod. If they could do something about that, then I'd gladly have a 360

otaku_momo
otaku_momo

I'm curious to see how much Uncharted 2 sold, hopefully it did better than Killzone 2. Naughty Dog really went all-out on this game, and it's my pick for GOTY.

ccputgat2m
ccputgat2m

We now have predicitions on the report? Cant we just wait for the report?

Draaagoon
Draaagoon

@SicklySunStorm & SalarianChemist I agree. All he did was leave a comment about a game he liked. Didn't even mention competition, MS, 360 except in the way he plays it and where to try it and he got so many thumbs down?? Such a shame when people can't comment on a game website about games. Maybe he should have added some fanboyish comments too to gain the approval of others. So iwhat if it was long? You are not forced to read it.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Woah - Salarian getting a bit hammered by people there, huh? Don't think he said anything wrong myself, but there you go

Traygon123
Traygon123

Not only are they predicting sales in a montht hat has already gone, they cease to provide me with any information that I actually care about. So there are nice figures stated and no pretty graph, but everyone should know that the gaming industry has had a fantastic few years with the consoles selling well. A massive line up of cracking titles will ensure we are in for a great ride!

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

SalarianChemist, forza is a great game but i think your over-exaggerating it. its the best racing game this gen SO FAR. its review was not benchmarked against the excellence of a gran turismo, "the real simulator" which is yet to be released this gen. and we dont want to know about your personal life and your friends so next time keep it short.

Rikuide_Furame
Rikuide_Furame

Most folks hit October and begin to brace their wallets for Christmas so a dip in sales is to be expected. Come the end November and December, we'll see a huge increase in sales.

Excedra
Excedra

360 will sell billions if they make live free. and there goes SalarianChemist with his freakishly long comments.

KittyHeart
KittyHeart

they predict the 5% growth wont be repeated we'll show them, buy more games!!

sonic0491
sonic0491

coldsauce09 I have both and I can tell you the Microsoft wheel is just as good apart from not having a gear shifter. Do you even have both or used both extensively to suggest such a thing?

coldsauce09
coldsauce09

@ salarianchemist dude 360's wheel is junk im telling you... G25 for PC and PS3 is the best not to mention driving force GT wheel.. but if you like arcade racer type games yeah its fun but performance its meh..

coldsauce09
coldsauce09

i felt bad here in canada that demons souls is out of stock everywhere i go because they didnt think it would be a hit..

DeathByRhapsody
DeathByRhapsody

MW2 was marketed twards 360........which is a shame.......pc version bombed ......ill just play WAW instead they auctually built that game right

punkpunker
punkpunker

cut the BS and cut the price of games. its over-priced and thats why piracy is rising market

SchumiF1
SchumiF1

Woot go Demon's Souls! Fantastic game, and easily one of my favorite games this year.

Trogeton
Trogeton

ps3 and 360 all the way.. they are the only consoles that are having explosive titles being released.. the wii is just singing lyllabies to children

Tauu
Tauu

@Grif-yes Michael Pachter is the man. Gamespot knows that which is why they have an article covering his expert analysis every week. He is the chief, the boss, the hero, the deliverer of the truth! The man of the mans!

Grif-yes
Grif-yes

I can't take this seriously considering Pachter is an idiot.

Peng33
Peng33

In a just world, Demon's Souls would win GOTY. In a slightly less just world, Uncharted 2 would win GOTY. In the world in which we currently reside, MW 2 will most likely win. :| As for the comment above who mentioned that Demon's Souls would have sold more if they had more copies in stores: Atlus is not EA or Activision. Just because a game sells really well in Japan (again, without a lot of publicity), and gets a huge amount of advance release hype in America, does not mean it is a guaranteed seller. The last thing Atlus needed was to sit on a ton of copies that didn't sell. Hell, there were not even any guarantees that the mainstream gaming sites would even grant it an above-average review score, as reviews were mixed in Japan. And by releasing fewer copies, not only was it a sound business model, but perhaps the game purposely or inadvertantly pulled a "Nintendo," meaning, doing what everyone has always accused Nintendo of doing...keeping supplies purposely low to inflate demand. It warms my jaded little heart, though, to see a major analyst even acknowledge Demon's Souls existence.

Tauu
Tauu

Yes! When I saw the word analyst in the article title, I was hoping it was Michael Pachter and it was! He is the man! Yes yes yes!

wiidsduelpack
wiidsduelpack

I can believe what the analysts said. The month of November was the true month to get quality games. / Modern Warfare 2/ Reflex, Uncharted 2, NSMBros. Wii, and many other titles to come like Assasins Creed 2. Of course October was going to be bad when all the good games are going to be released during the holiday season to get more sales.

3m3ndo
3m3ndo

they need to cut the price the cost of game is too high.