Diablo III sells 1M at retail, Max Payne 3 hits 400K in May - NPD

Cowen & Co. firm reveals first-month sales figures for Blizzard's new dungeon crawler, Rockstar's shooter; sales downturn expected through holiday season.

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Yesterday, the NPD Group reported that Diablo III was the top-selling game of May, but just how well did it perform? In a note to investors today citing NPD data, research firm Cowen & Co. revealed that Blizzard's new dungeon crawler moved 1 million units at retail during the month. Blizzard reported last month that the game sold 3.5 million units across physical and digital retailers during its first 24 hours.

A million marched into the mouth of hell in May.

In addition to sharing sales figures for Diablo III, the firm revealed that Rockstar Games' Max Payne 3 and Ubisoft's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier each sold just north of 400,000 during May. Both titles "underperformed," according to the firm. This time last year, Rockstar's L.A. Noire was able to move nearly 900,000 units.

Overall industry sales for May slid 28 percent year-over-year, and Cowen & Co. does not foresee a turnaround anytime soon. The firm projects June and July software sales will tank 30 percent year-on-year, due to "continued Wii and handheld weakness" and a dearth of new Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 titles.

Looking even further into the future, the company said the release slate for the 2012 holiday period "looks a bit lighter on the core side than last year." This results in the firm projecting the downturn to continue, despite the launch of Nintendo's Wii U.

Discussion

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Hurvl
Hurvl

Both Max Payne 3 and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier "underperformed", though both got good reviews. I'm seeing a pattern here :P.

Hastur
Hastur

I loved the previous two installments of Max, but what I've seen of latest sequel, didn't convince me enough to buy it. I'm having a blast with D3 though.

Thug2Wasteland
Thug2Wasteland

Max Payne is a good game from what I have seen. It seems this report was a lackluster since they did not include the PC ports of Max Payne 3. So perhaps the PC gamer's bought more copies on PC then on consoles, so hopefully this changes a few things ifnot at least the sales increase. 

muzza93
muzza93

If someone likes mature games they don't get a Nintendo product, it's just the way it is. Look at playstations exclusive heroes, u got the god of war dude, the kill zone foul mouths, the evil electric civilian killing guy from infamous. Look at Nintendo, you got all the Mario cartoon happy dudes. The wii had (very) slightly better graphics than the ps2 generation and I bet the wii u will have only slightly better than the current gen, while Microsoft and Sony will have a big step passed the current fen Nintendo only goes slightly better than the previous gen, leaving them behind and unable to keep up meaning companies will have to seriously downgrade their games to release it on Nintendo, Nintendo is holding the industry back.

dagrimmreepa
dagrimmreepa

MP3 was awesome! I loved it and finished it three times already. Rockstar is a company i hold in high esteem, while, after the Diablo 3 debacle, Blizz will never see another cent from me. 

masi07
masi07

A game selling 400k units in one month in one country is seen as under-performing?  WTF!

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

People keep watching sales slip and cry "the sky is falling!", but this is just a typical of the tail end of a console generation.

 

Next console generation will bring with it more eye/mind-blowing graphics and experiences, and with it an increase in sales.  Same story, different gen.

vader501st
vader501st

Sales don't mean quality. Hell, Operation Raccoon City sold tons of unit and it's not half the game MP 3 is. The same goes for Diablo III, I'd even take ORC over it any day of the week.

zzanzabar
zzanzabar

Max Payne, I believe, sold exactly the way it was going to.  It sold to those who were fans of the game and very few others.  Those who had never played the game (or played it SO long ago it is a fuzzy memory), like myself, just were never given a reason to pick this one up.  It may be a good game, heck it might be GREAT, but I cannot see investing $60 in it at this time.  Let the price drop to, say, $29 or so and I will most likely get it.   As for Diablo III, I cannot buy a game that requires me to be connected online ALL the time, I just won't do it for ANY game...EVER.

popeyfolger
popeyfolger

mp3 may have under performed but i don't think his figures are right a couple weeks ago i read something that was quite the contrary to this. if true then it's very sad cause mp3 was incredible. also glad to hear diablo 3 is doing so well blizzard deserves all of their praises.

zinoalex
zinoalex

The sad part of the month to me was that The Game of Thrones was released on the same day as Diablo and max P. This is a title (gameof Thrones) that should have been and could have been better than the 4.5 -6.5 it is beong given by reviewers. Atlus should have made sure the title was a quality product BEFORE it was released. They are ans excellent company with a great track record but Thrones and The Cursed Crusade a few months before it , tarnish it's image.

   Imagine if we would have had 3 STRONG TITLES being released on the same day. How different the discussions would be.

Moegitto
Moegitto

I like when good games "under perform", makes me feel like I own a game that will become rare in the future. But on topic, Diablo 3 is a more hyped game, it was "successful" because of it's name. All the fans of Diablo 2 wanted this game for years. Max Payne 3 was a game developed from the ground up, it didn't use the name to sell itself. MP3's sales are from solid gameplay fundamentals, go look around the web and on forums about how "well" Diablo 3 was developed.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

The consoles are now long in the tooth and like every console generation cycle, the market is flooded by many b grade titles rushed to market because they are easier to develop for and sony, microsoft, nintendo are giving publishers discounts on licensing to their consoles.

 

Also developing tools and physics engines are also now cheaper.  We need the next generation of consoles, there will still be plenty of old games for this current gen systems but with competition from ps4 720, u, the games will hopefully be thinned out.

 

the new franchises like gears of war, uncharted, assassin greeds games will not be made until the next gen starts. gaming is recession ( im sorry GOOD games are recession proof, publishers and devs miss the old days where any crappy game will sell well.   

LazyyAmerican
LazyyAmerican

That is pathetic....since Diablo 3 is so utterly shallow and Max Payne 3 is pure gold :/ guess it wasn't free roam enough for the 10 year olds that matter the most.

vivalatour
vivalatour

it must be me , I played both and much more prefer Max Payne and of course

 older and intelligent ! MAX PAYNE RULES , CAN YOU DIG IIIIIIIIT ? LOL

 PS: I think that MP3 had 400k pre-orders in may ! Max's first games were out before

 the little yuppies even stopped sucking their thumbs ! LOL

PodXCOM
PodXCOM

I really hope it comes to the ps3 or 360.

Dumachum
Dumachum

Max Payne on console was released May 15.

Max Payne on PC was released June 1.

 

PC sales wasn't even counted. Also seems like a half assed report only giving the game 15 days to sell. 400k isn't bad when you're only counting half a month and not on PC where the series started.

Heartagram_03
Heartagram_03

im sure Max Payne 3 sold a lot more through digital sales.

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

There's a big discrepancy between the Diablo III sales numbers reported by Cowen & Co. (1 million) and Blizzard (3.5 million).  Do digital sales and worldwide sales--neither of which are represented by the NPD--really account for that many sales, or is something amiss?

 

I'm also really sad to see Max Payne 3 "underperform."  I guess that going up against Diablo III wasn't the smartest move on Rockstar's part.  It's certainly not an issue of quality.

chilipalm
chilipalm

Poor sales for Max Payne probably had to do with the $60 asking price for 9 hour game.  Last time I waste my money on that.

godzillavskong
godzillavskong

I still have yet to get my copy of Max Payne. Dang bills! Hopefully I'll add it to my game library at the end of this month. That and Dragon's Dogma.

scarletsnake
scarletsnake

I thought MP3 sold more units, I'm sure I read something contradicting this statement before...

Rocker6
Rocker6

Sad to hear about MP3's low sales,the game deserves better.Haven't managed to pick up the game yet,but will do so in the next few days,getting the PC version.Also,I really hope the sales improve over the following months...

 

And on the topic of PC,does this 400k number counts PC copies sold so far,or is it console only?

mike9876543210
mike9876543210

diablo looks OK, i'd prefer to play dawn of war though

nutcrackr
nutcrackr

Harsh blow for Max Payne 3. Maybe it sold better in other regions? Still less than 50% of LA Noire sales and a bigger marketing campaign can't be good.

billlabowski
billlabowski

Diablo 3 was underwhelming, Max Payne 3 sucked and was just a cutscene with two hours of gameplay...yeah May gaming was really bad. Not buying anything else until the end of the year. 

Dark_December
Dark_December

 @Hastur Don't miss on MP3, it's actually one the best game that came out in 2012.

wgerardi
wgerardi

 @Hastur Max Payne 3 is kind of a masterpiece, bro- you should check it out. It's not perfect, but if you loved the first 2, you owe it to yourself to enjoy the 3rd one.

demonic_85
demonic_85

 @muzza93 Actually the graphics were pretty much identical to the previous generation because Nintendo simply used revised Gamecube hardware.

y3ivan
y3ivan

 @PixelAddict graphics improves sales? you got to be kidding. Its consumer fatigue and less spending power due to nov 2011 shitload of games

maxwell97
maxwell97

 @zzanzabar

 I was surprised at how much I loved Max Payne 3.  I liked the originals, but this one is awesome; probably the best "pure" shooter (meaning not part-tactical or part-RPG and so on) that I've played since HL2.  Some people don't like the cutscenes, but they're so well-done I don't mind at all.

 

On Diablo III, many people agree with you - but judging by the sales figures, most people don't.

Dumachum
Dumachum

 @LongJohnSlivers Blizzard doesn't do DLC. Never have, just expansions and free updates. You should know that. Better stick to consoles "bro".

 

Or were you just plugging your crap blog pretending to be a journalist?

mjk45
mjk45

 @Tsuchikage the main reason for the discrepancy is blizzard gave away 1.2million digital copies as part of it's wow annual pass promotion and they see that as sales.

megam
megam

 @scarletsnake It's certainly possible; NPD doesn't track digital sales, and Diablo 3's NPD numbers vs. Blizzard's numbers certainly show how much of the PC gamer crowd has embraced the digital gaming market.

Setho10
Setho10

 @Rocker6 This was for the month of May. Since the PC version wasn't released until June this report doesn't count any PC sales, or sales of the game over the past 15 days. Additionally, the NPD does not include digital sales in its numbers and I would assume that the vast majority of PC sales will be digital so even for June I don't expect PC to count that much.

y3ivan
y3ivan

 @billlabowski well at least the cutscenes isnt as long as MGS 30mins of boredom. 

Hurvl
Hurvl

 @wookie560 Yeah, that made me go LoL (League of Legends). Many people say WoW (World of Warcraft) when they think of Diablo 3, but don't mean "wow" as in the meaning cool/epic/awesome. I've got the HotS for Kerrigan in Starcraft 2, she is damn fine :P!

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

 @y3ivan Please read more better, I did not ONLY SAY GRAPHICS:

 

"eye/mind-blowing graphics and experiences, and with it an increase in sales"

 

I'm feeling charitable and so I will agree the massive glut of releases over the past 6 months also contributed.

 

But if you do NOT believe in a bump of sales due to "newness", improved specs (which lead to increased resolutions), and the improved experiences a new gen brings... well then I don't have time to educate you on How Things Work.

N0tYrBeezin
N0tYrBeezin

 @Dumachum Definitely plugging his blog! :) The comment about diablo is just a smoke screen.

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

 @mjk45 Blizzard's definition of the word 'sales' is apparently very different from mine.  lol  Thanks for clearing that up!

mike9876543210
mike9876543210

 @N0tYrBeezin and, doesn't have to be the same type of game, yes dawn of war is point and click and you jest tell a squad to attack but dawn of war dark crusade is amazing and far better than this in my opinion, looks better too if you have a good PC, better story, in dark crusade you take over a planet by destroying every other race and in soul storm you take over a solar system by destroying the other races, dawn of war requires strategy while this looks like you just run into an area without thinking and kill stuff

y3ivan
y3ivan

 @PixelAddict i still dont agree. It will boost hardware sales but just average for game sales and by average <0.5mil sold on first month. Sales will only start to climb a year later as more consumers purchase the hardware.

 

If you look at 2006 software sales trend, theres hardly any groundbreaking sales. Hardware outsale the software. Also looking the situation in Japan, making PS2 games are still a very feasible, period.