NPD: BioShock Infinite soars to top spot in March US sales

Irrational Games' shooter month's best-seller; overall industry sales slide 10 percent to $992.5 million.

BioShock Infinite was March 2013's top-selling title in the United States, according to data from the NPD Group published today. Overall industry sales slid 10 percent during the month to $992.5 million.

Rounding out the month's top five titles were Tomb Raider, Gears of War: Judgment, God of War: Ascension, and Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Of note, all top ten titles for March were sequels.

NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan explained in a statement that the $992.5 million in total sales equals only about half of the true market spend for the month.

"When you consider our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in March such as used and rentals at $190 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including microtransactions, subscriptions, mobile apps, and the consumer spend on social network games at $670 million, we would estimate the total consumer spend in March to be just under $1.9 billion," Callahan said.

Hardware suffered in March, with "deep declines" of 32 percent in dollar spend, with stronger downturns for portable hardware than for traditional consoles. The Nintendo 3DS was an anomaly, with sales for the platform growing 9 percent year-over-year.

The NPD Group does not disclose specific console sales data, but Microsoft announced today that the Xbox 360 sold 261,000 units during March and was the top-performer for the period. Sony and Nintendo have not made any sales data available.

Software sales in March 2013 across consoles, portables, and PC were up 2 percent, the first month of positive growth since November 2011.

"The performance of new launches was a major driver of the overall software growth for this month, with games launching in March 2013 selling over 40 percent more units than new launches in March 2012. There were positive trends for new launches that were seen across consoles, portables, and PC."

Callahan explained that March 2013 saw 20 percent fewer new releases, but these games generated nearly 70 percent more dollar sales per SKU than last year.

"With solid performances of new games like Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, and Monster Hunter Ultimate 3, 3DS software sales increased over 50 percent from last March."

March was a positive month for publisher Take-Two, as the strength of BioShock Infinite combined with continued sales of NBA 2K13 helped the publisher achieve the highest sales for an individual company since the NPD Group began tracking retail sales in 1995.

"Two strong launches for the month included Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite, which were the highest first month sales for games in these franchises," Callahan said.

Switching to accessories, this sector was flat in dollar sales during March 2013, coming in at $216.1 million.

"While accessory spending was flat in dollar sales, continued strength of Skylanders, point cards, and headsets/ headphones resulted in a 15 percent growth in unit sales for March 2013 over March 2012," Callahan said.

MARCH US GAME SALES (March 3-April 6, 2013)
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES

Total retail sales: $992.5 million (-10%)
Non-PC hardware: $221.6 million (-32%)
Non-PC software: $554.8 (-1%)
Accessories: $216.1 (0%)
Total software: $602.4 million (2%)

TOP 10 GAMES FOR MARCH 2013
Title (Platforms) - Publisher

1. BioShock Infinite (X360, PS3, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
2. Tomb Raider (X360, PS3) - Square Enix
3. Gears of War: Judgment (X360) - Microsoft
4. God of War: Ascension (PS3) Sony
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (X360, PS3, PC, Wii U) - Activision Blizzard
6. Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS) - Nintendo
7. MLB13: The Show (PS3, PS Vita) - Sony
8. NBA 2K13 (X360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
9. The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (X360, PS3, Wii U) - Activision Blizzard
10. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (X360, PS3) - Namco Bandai Games

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

173 comments
bannermanner
bannermanner

Disgusting that Walking Dead is even on the chart.

ddoggbritt16
ddoggbritt16

I cant believe that the new gears of war is on that list it is a horrible game


nutcrackr
nutcrackr

Tomb Raider still doing well. Real test for Infinite is probably next month sales.

El_Galant
El_Galant

Wow...I thought God of War had done a lot better...I bought the game, but I guess most people passed on it for Bioshock, which I also got.

wyan_
wyan_

You don't say...

stev69
stev69

I had my reservations about even trying Bioshock, but im glad I did, it was a very enjoyable story, not the best shooter ever but a great game.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

Tomb Raider in second place?? Square Enix..so disappointing.. (lol really, how can anyone complain about that? Also Tomb Raider is an awesome game).

Glad to Infinite on the top, it deserves it. If anyone hasn't played it yet, I highly recommend it.

MatrixGamer78
MatrixGamer78

" 2. Tomb Raider (X360, PS3) - Square Enix" an Error missing PC port.

MatrixGamer78
MatrixGamer78

The best line is "Software sales in March 2013 across consoles, portables, and PC were up 2 percent, the first month of positive growth since November 2011".

4r0d0
4r0d0

Hey.... psssst Gamespot....... over here.   Pro Tip:  Sales don't mean the game is good.



Bioshock Infinite < Great Game 

CrouchingWeasel
CrouchingWeasel

Infinite was good but the whole 2 weapon limit thing really gave me the shits. People will say that it adds to the game by forcing strategic thinking & planning but not having access during a battle to any gun you've picked up & used earlier, to be able to approach the scenario in whatever way you want was a big let-down for me considering the benefits that an increased load-out gave in the last 2 games & all of the fun & mayhem that that entailed. Yeah I knew it was a feature before I bought it but I wanted to give it a chance anyway. Despite what the developers hoped would happen by restricting your load-out I found it to be only an inconvenience that added nothing to the quality of the game. 

Running low or out of ammo so that you have to drop the gun you love for a gun that's convenient & then have to run around trying to find your favourite gun again later on when you buy some ammo once you've found a vendor, or upgrading a weapon that you don't currently have at a vendor & then struggle to find that gun anywhere to try out your upgrades? Good luck. Is being able to carry a metric fuckton of guns & rocket launchers unrealistic? Yeah it is, but it's a hell of a lot more convenient than having to try & hunt down a Vox Repeater or Burstgun after upgrading at a vendor to be able to try out the new upgrades & compare them to your other gun. I really hope this is something that they patch out later.

Hurvl
Hurvl

"the $992.5 million in total sales equals only about half of the true market spend for the month." Finally even the NPD group have realized that non-retail sales make up a huge amount of total sales. It used to be all gloom and economic doom when they revealed that this and that months sales were 20-30 percents less than previous year and such. Especially PC games sales looked as if it barely made a mark on the total game sales. Gaming is thriving, it's just not physical retail sales anymore.

presidentali01
presidentali01

So who killed the guy in the chair in the lighthouse?

Aydenuille
Aydenuille

See I never played the previous Bioshock games, but I did give in to the hype that was Bioshock Infinite.. It was good but not as awesome as everyone was saying. 

I hate hype. It raises my expectation too much. And yet I can't help but come to the internet everyday for news and updates..

But yeah, Bioshock 1 and 2 came with the preorder for Infinite, so I'll be playing them too shortly. All I hope is that I don't have the same feeling as with the new one, expectation-wise that is..

DARKKNIGHTPRABZ
DARKKNIGHTPRABZ

my honest opinion before damage control come and get me. 


I think the media hype , and general people being caught up the hype of reviews and metacritic really helped the sales of this game . I mean 95/6 metacritic and reviews really helped it . 

The game was great. But not what i call masterpiece. Defo not a 10  !. 

As a lot of good commentators and reviewers on youtube said. Alot of people did get caught in the hype. 

And another thing was that no game last year i think , got anywhere near the high review scores that bioshock got on meta ect. So people were dying for a game which was actually rated highly. 

And before the deluded fanboys get to me ... no im not saying the game is BAD.


tazdevil33
tazdevil33

@Oozyrat i have actually got much more out of Tombraider, Bioshock Infinite was good but i haven't had any desire to go through it again. Tombraider  i am going through and looking for all the items i missed.

I finished the game with 80% completion first time around.

Currently 88 percent complete so getting there. It is odd than in some sections it throws enemies at you again but in other sections it doesn't .

It does make it easier to explore when all you have to worry about it forest animals but those deer are psychos lol. Twice one ran full on at me and almost knocked me off a high cliff. Took it out with an explosive tipped arrow.

Tombraider overall is much more interesting to explore where as Bioshock Infinite becomes very samey especially to try and go through a 2nd time.

Still both games were only 30 bux on PC so both are a bargain really.


Kolo32
Kolo32

@4r0d0 Hey..... psssst 4r0d0....... over here. Pro Tip: Your opinion of the game doesn't mean it's not great.


Bioshock Infinite = Great Game

tazdevil33
tazdevil33

@CrouchingWeasel The shooting was pretty lame in Infinite , Tombraider was much more engaging especially against multiple enemies where as Infinite just got really boring with the same patterns used again and again with no real variation.


jamvng
jamvng

I dont disagree, but it was a small gripe that ddidnt ruin the experience for me.

tazdevil33
tazdevil33

I don't think you can answer it without spoiling the story unless you have already completed the game.


tazdevil33
tazdevil33

@DARKKNIGHTPRABZ What was bad is how the promos had nothing to do with anything that occurs in the game. Even the E3 demo we saw last year or maybe the year before? That was supposed to be gameplay and it  isn't even in the game.

I kept waiting to have that cool chase sequence and it never happens.

Had to be due to all the layoffs over time in getting this game out the door. So many people left the company it had to have a negative impact somewhere.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

@DARKKNIGHTPRABZ I respect that. I've been looking forward to this game since the night they posted the first trailer. I'm not disappointed in it at all. But hype really can ruin an experience. I don't mind Half Life 2, but with so much hype I expected better. You really have to be into something to enjoy it, and if you buy only based off reviews, you're eventually going to run into something that doesn't live up to your personal expectations. I respect you because you're not just ranting about little things about the game. Also I think I saw one of your comments somewhere on here talking about how you preferred the ME series. It's the same thing, people ranting about the ending over and over. It's not that bad, and it definitely doesn't ruin the series or game for me in any way. People overreact about stuff. Glad to see someone that respects the game. (Also, ME is awesome too lol)

jamvng
jamvng

Isnt it impressive though that even wth all the hype, people still loved the game? High expectations yet it delivered for most people. it was definitely a unique experience that i dont expect to encounter often in games.

4r0d0
4r0d0

@PSYCHOV3N0M @4r0d0 


You mean the one that is so convoluted near the end that the only way to salvage it is through the use of a series of Deus Ex Machinas.  Yea, I guess your right it does hurt a little bit trying to figure out why so many people think it is SPECTACULAR! .... o... and ARMA 3 bro.... Arma 3.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

@Kolo32 @4r0d0 Whether or not the game is great is ENTIRELY down to personal opinion. Telling someone their opinion is wrong doesn't automatically make them see the game as great you know.

4r0d0
4r0d0

@Kolo32 @4r0d0 

You mad bro?

Elann2008
Elann2008

@PSYCHOV3N0M

Nonetheless, walking around with sniper and machine gun is God Mode in itself.  I don't think having one more slot would have hurt the game.  

Same could be said for Dead Space 3.  Dead Space use to allow more than two guns, and Dead Space 1 was the best of the series. 

Dead Space 3 only allowed for two weapons but the game still sucked because A.I. was predictable and boring.  None of the enemy designs were interesting, and they totally kicked the whole "dismemberment" theme out the window and went with the shoot anything that moves scheme which failed to work.  

Even with two weapon loadout in Bioshock Infinite, ammo was plenty even on hard mode.  Weapons lacked balanced because every enemy carried the machine gun and the game forced you to pretty much use that weapon.  And when you used it, you had plenty of ammo off enemy bodies.

CrouchingWeasel
CrouchingWeasel

@PSYCHOV3N0M@CrouchingWeasel 

Yeah, I posted after just finishing the game for the first time. Thinking about it some more I get that it might have made the game too easy to give you every weapon at once & I can deal with not being able to strap 300 guns to my back but I still have a gripe with the imbalance in weapon drops. Putting machine guns into the hands of the vast majority of enemies when you hate using machine guns & instead want to use a carbine, repeater or burst gun can be a real pain in the arse, especially when you have to spend an aeon of game time trying to find one of those guns if you want to try one out after upgrading it if you don't already have it or had to drop one of those guns to pick up something else after you ran out of ammo. I at least hope that Irrational fixes that up. That being said the rest of the game was great.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

@jamvng Thing is, I've found the game to be FULL of "small gripes" that are really starting to smother any enjoyment I was getting.

jamvng
jamvng

The Luteces. Check out ta desk in their house, that has a picture.

DARKKNIGHTPRABZ
DARKKNIGHTPRABZ

@Oozyrat @DARKKNIGHTPRABZ   

Thanks 

bioshock had alot of hype comming since it was announced. Its a great game, its just how some of it gets blown way out of porportion. I mean Dishonored was a fantastic game last year, which gave people freedom that deserved alot of attention. I love games which put destiny sometimes at the players choice. However i  respect certain games need their own story. I wish bioshock had given us that choice of alot of things in the games which added to the type of ending. However its still is a great game. Just not a masterpiece.

Its all about peoples emotions and feelings after they finished the game. Some of the consensus around the ending for bioshock is as if its the greatest ending ever.  But it now where near reached the same level of emotion or the rollacoaster ride i had after completing the ME trilogy with one character lol, which was phenomenal for me, on a more personnal level. No matter the ending of ME3. 


Hype can sometimes blind people, its physcological. 

Belive me i was one of the people who were blown away by skyrim , and were writing how its the best game ever made .... before the bugs.


DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

@Xuix @DarkSaber2k @Kolo32 @4r0d0 You must be new around here. (I know you're not, but nevertheless.)

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

@DarkSaber2k @jamvng Griping is all gamers do anymore. It's getting so ridiculous. Bioshock Infinite is a great game and even if personal opinion says otherwise, it's still easy to highly respect it. I mean people need to grow up. It's just like the ME3 ending. It wasn't that bad and people need to just shut up thinking that every game has to do exactly what they want it too. If people want to complain about every little thing than just make your own game and return this one. It's a video game, an entertainment form. It's just for fun.

(Note, this isn't meant all to you, it's just gamers in general do nothing but complain. I respect your opinion and I also agree that 3-4 guns would help, but I enjoy the challenge. Plus I found tons of weapons to constantly switch to either on enemies or in gun racks.)

jamvng
jamvng

Fair enough. Im not going to be like other people and burn you for your personal opinion. :) you def arent the only one to have those gripes.

stev69
stev69

@1234ritchie They wouldn't be hipsters if they actually expressed their own opinion rather than what ever one was trending on twitter.

Oozyrat
Oozyrat

@DarkSaber2k @1234ritchie @2bitSmOkEy @highlanderjimd @presidentali01 No ones saying the reviews of the Walking Dead are wrong or trolling. Why? Because it's a seemingly bad game. Why are people defending Infinite? Because it's a good game. Every game can't make everyone happy, but there's nothing game-breaking about it. It's a solid game and that's pretty much a fact at this point. I don't care for Zelda games but I respect them. I'm not going on every Zelda comment section and complaining and saying negative things about them. People like it and I'm happy for the fans. I don't care for them and I won't buy them, but I don't hate the series and say everything about it is crap. It's a respectable series and deserves the praise it gets, no matter what my personal preference for games is.