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

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Eddie Makuch

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

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172 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.


Hellhound30x
Hellhound30x

Well deserved on Bioshock infinites part... WELL DESERVED! If you haven't bought it yet... DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND GO OUT AND BUY IT!

rasterror
rasterror

One of the best endings and games ever.  It might even top Bioshock's "would you kindly".

archelius
archelius

bioshock infinite is one of the best games ever!

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

10 hours into Bioshock Infinite, I'm not even half way through I don't think, and I absolutely hate it. It isn't bad it's just incredibly boring. Far more boring than the first Bioshock was (and I gave up n that about half an hour from the end due to the story turning to shit)

Diggfinger
Diggfinger

Cant wait to play Bioshock Infinite.....!!!

steelmouth
steelmouth

What are the sales numbers for Gears: Judgment it breaks my heart seeing a Gears game coming 3rd in sales during its month of release, but bravo to Bioshock i played and loved the 1st one and all i hear about Infinite is positivity, i will be gettin it soon as i can afford it

shingui5
shingui5

Oh Bioshock, if only your shooting wasn't mediocre, and your gameworld interactions non-existent, then i might be able to call you a masterpiece. 

also, wtf is going on with the violence in that game? it's bloody disgusting and overblown. 

Superzone
Superzone

BioShock Infinite is the best game I've played in quite some time.

And on a side note: How the hell is Black Ops II still in the top 5???  What in the world is it that people see in that series???  BioShock Infinite makes CoD look like freaking Barbie Horse Adventures.

ethanm1834
ethanm1834

Not surprising a lot of hype for this game and for the most part it delivered. So kudos, to this team. 

santinegrete
santinegrete

I've put this like 4 times already, but what the hell? I loved the game: well deserved! in one year they will sell it on Steam for less than 10 bucks.. hope that helps people to get to play it.

TheOnlyConan
TheOnlyConan

Considering The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct made the top ten, I have little faith in these figures. Especially considering they do not include digital sales.

TheWalkingGhost
TheWalkingGhost

Xbox 360 and PS3 have exclusives on that list...WiiU does not. Keep it up Nintendo!

the_real_VIP
the_real_VIP

Yet, Square Enix will still say that Tomb Raider is a failure...

PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

Bioshock 1 and Bioshock Infinite deserve to be up there as one of the greatest games of all time....puts all other fps games to shame and it doesn't even have a multiplayer

vader501st
vader501st

Incredible game. Keep it going, folks.

Gojilord
Gojilord

Sucks to be the guy who got a refund for this game.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

And guess what NO TACKED ON MULTIPLAYER. 

This game deserves all the praise it gets. kudos to ken and irrational games. 


Take stock other devs. 

hector530
hector530

spoilers:

having passed the game i must say......

bioshock 1 was better. i was able to predict most of the events. i figure out the ending 15mins before the credits and i was really REALLY hoping i was wrong. also i tend to hate stories that involve parallel universes many because it becomes so convoluted and impossible to explain.

also most parallel universe stories end with the knowledge that nothing you did matters because its done infinite number of times


and whoop de fucking do! it ends like all cliched parallel universe stories end

Printul_Noptii
Printul_Noptii

I am glad this is doing so well as its really one hell of an awesome experience and its the best game of this year so far (at least IMHO). I hope Metro Last Light will come close to this as well !

blackace
blackace

I can't believe NBA 2K13 is still on the list. The game is a mess. Good to see software sales increase. That's how developers/publishers make their money and we need them to stop laying people off and start making profits.

hadlee73
hadlee73

Survival Instinct is still there! Go Survival Instinct! lol

kratospete
kratospete

this proves people still have good taste .. i`m talking about those who did not buy a CoD game

demondogx
demondogx

hmm no ea title in top 10 thats suprisingly, im actually proud of you americans for once ^.^

to bad so many fell for the nickle and dime walking dead game tho.

jamvng
jamvng

Wow Bioshock Infinite beat Tomb Raider with 20 less days of sales. Impressive. Deserves it. The better game experience for me,

nolimittb
nolimittb

Hmm console hardware still flying off the shelf and Total software is up 2%!  Yet every month industry sales are down? Sounds like a lot of bad management and poor marketing strategy going on in the industry! Oh and outrageous sales goals on many titles. 

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

Yeah bioshock infinite really is that good. I also really liked the first one though hard to say which is better but I like both a lot.

fredyellowone
fredyellowone

By the way, MLB 13 is going strong.  A lot of folks are going to pick it up in the summer months.

fredyellowone
fredyellowone

Bioshock Infinite is the best game this generation.

As System Shock 2 was Ages ago.

Now, all I have to do, is to find a way to convince my brother to play the series.