September US retail sales fall despite Madden NFL - NPD

EA Sports' gridiron sim edges out Gears of War 3, Dead Island; DS tops 50 million in US; Xbox 360 again leads hardware; total retail sales sink 6% to $1.16B.

Not long after Epic Games released Gears of War 3 in September, Microsoft announced that the sci-fi shooter had sold more than 3 million units globally in just one week. However, even that solid start wasn't enough to halt the multiplatform blitz of Electronic Arts' perennial juggernaut Madden NFL from taking the top slot in the NPD Group's monthly US retail sales recap.

Madden NFL 12 wasn't enough to lift September sales.

NPD no longer issues unit sales figures for software, and Electronic Arts had not announced Madden NFL 12 sales across the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, and PSP as of press time. However, Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg took to his Twitter feed to confirm that Gears of War 3 sold more than 2 million units in the US during the month.

Deep Silver scored a surprise appearance in NPD's monthly recap, with Dead Island coming in as the third best-selling game for the month in the US. That performance beat out a number of other new releases, including FIFA 12, NHL 12, Resistance 3, and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, all of which charted.

Despite the presence of Madden NFL in the September reporting period, software sales still fell year-over-year. All said, total sales for console, portable, and PC games dipped 1 percent to $653.2 million for the month.

Hardware saw a significant milestone during the month. Following the release of NPD's report, Nintendo announced that the Nintendo DS has now sold more than 50 million units in the US alone, having added an additional 145,000 units during September. Nintendo also said that the 3DS sold 260,000 units in September, while the Wii sold 240,000 units.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 was again the top-selling console in the US last month, having shifted an additional 438,000 units. Though Sony did not reveal PS3 sales figures, the company did say that the console experienced 20 percent sales growth over the same period last year. Overall, hardware sales fell 9 percent to $349 million, according to NPD.

SEPTEMBER 2011 US GAME SALES
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $1.16 billion (-6%)
Total non-PC retail sales: $1.13 billion (-4%)
Non-PC hardware: $349.0 million (-9%)
Non-PC software: $630.2 million (3%)
Accessories: $154.8 million (-14%)
Total software: $653.2 million (-1%)

TOP 10 GAMES FOR SEPTEMBER 2011
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. Madden NFL 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP) - Electronic Arts
2. Gears of War 3 (360) - Microsoft
3. Dead Island (360, PS3, PC) - Deep Silver
4. FIFA Soccer 12 (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PSP, 3DS) - Electronic Arts
5. NHL 12 (360, PS3) - Electronic Arts
6. Deus Ex: Human Revolution (360, PS3, PC) - Square Enix
7. Resistance 3 (PS3) - Sony
8. Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Wii, DS, 360, 3DS, PS3, PSP, PC) - LucasArts
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, DS, Wii, PC) - Activision Blizzard
10. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine (360, PS3, PC) - THQ

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Discussion

45 comments
blackace
blackace

2Joedgabe @blackace Sport games are really popular, it's not hard to believe at all. If they weren't so popular they wouldn't make one every year. They're really fun actually, even if playing the real sport is better but it's hard to organize. ************************************************************** The fact that it's on multiple systems probably explains why it sold so much. Gears 3 is only on the XBox 360. Madden 12 sold less then Madden 11. EA once again didn't release a NBA game as NBA 2K12 has taken the reigns from them. I hope we get a college BB game though.

amaan4ever
amaan4ever

Black ops still sellin???? That was the lamest COD i've ever played

CaptainHerlock
CaptainHerlock

Madden is on top because of the massive popularity of the NFL. Make no mistake, football is bigger than video games.

noble95x
noble95x

@uncagedpaul_86, black ops is there since mw3 is comin out soon and people want to catch up on it to prepare for mw3,,, thats my guess

Oldboy08
Oldboy08

@Flint247 PS2 is a great system with a great line up of games. Here in Japan it sells as much as the 360 does. Some stores have as many PS2 games for sale as they do 360 and PS3.

Flint247
Flint247

How is PS2 still going? O:

tmacman
tmacman

@CptRexKramer If it makes you feel any better Madden and FIFA on the PS2 are roster updates of an old version (I think '06?), so it's the same data being chucked on the disc apart from some roster changes, minimal work, easy money, so why not.

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

EA is still hiding the numbers of Madden sales after a month and a half... This is probably a bad year for Madden, with reason... But they are first, so we still deserve mediocrity for a long time... Keep the good work, you zombies...

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

CptRexKramer
CptRexKramer

They still release new games for the Playstation 2?! Really?! That's unbeievable! I mean, I'm not bashing the PS2 at all (I use to own one and loved it.), but it's a dinosaur. Although it's probably nothing to port over, I can't believe companies bother spending any kind of money at all in releasing games for it. But I guess you have to hand it to the little guy. The PS2 seems to be a resilient little sucker.

svaubel
svaubel

Yay, a list dominated by shooters and sports games. Wish there was something else that could be in the top 10 for once.

COPMAN221
COPMAN221

@tmorri603, I agree with you 100%. Every year 2k sports puts EA sports to shame with their NBA 2K Series to the point that EA just gave up on Basketball since they couldn't just own the license rights and shovel out a crappy basketball game every year like they do with Madden and hope people buy it since it's the only game in town. Hopefully one day their NFL license will end and 2K can put them to shame with an awesome football game and put MADDEN to an end once and for all.

tmorri603
tmorri603

@COPMAN221 The reason that EA has that exclusive deal with the NFL and NFLPA is so that they can keep 2k off their backs. They can relase a weak version of Madden and still be in the top 10 in sales. They tried to do it in the NBA but they said no and now 2k has killed Live.

NodakJo2010
NodakJo2010

Yay the time of year where I get to read stereotype comments about america loving guns and NFL Football....... =P I wished EA focused more on creating a better NCAA Football game...include the FCS schools and have a true dynasty mode.

MrBBQ56
MrBBQ56

Ok, really? Black Ops is still top ten? At least Lego Star Wars is higher. :P

Evilbunz
Evilbunz

how are people still buying black ops..... better yet why?

Muteki_X
Muteki_X

Hmmm..."September US retail sales fall" and just below that is the news article "Batman: Arkham City locks Catwoman behind one-time use code". I wonder if there might be some sort of correlation? Weird...

mr_squibble
mr_squibble

The price drop for Lego Star Wars III to $20 certainly helped it make #8. I almost bought it for that, but imported a Japanese XBOX 360 game instead (Mushihimesama Futari Ver 1.5).

COPMAN221
COPMAN221

@hunter8man, tradition? Do you mean the tradition of not having any other option of buying another football game because greedy EA purchased the rights to the NFL license thus preventing other companies from making a better game or did you mean the yearly tradition of EA releasing the same game with a few tweaks then claiming it is new?

hunter8man
hunter8man

No surprise that Madden is back on top, even if it is the worst installment of the series on the current platforms. Like it or not, Madden has become tradition for a lot of football fans (even though I rent my copy now until some MAJOR changes are made). However, the other games on this list have staying power and are much more polished than Madden.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Triton
Triton

And the 360 has not had a price drop yet!!!

THA-TODD-BEAST
THA-TODD-BEAST

It is so sad to see Madden top the charts year-in and year-out like this. And Black Ops, a shooter as mediocre as they come, is even on the list. If this doesn't show the state of the industry at this time, I'm not sure what ever will. It's absolutely pathetic.

Sendmn23
Sendmn23

I can't believe Black ops is still in the top ten... that blows my mind!

steelmouth
steelmouth

agreed we no longer derive the same value from this as we use to,we sud just forget about the NPD reports and get what ever numbers publishers decides to share and those that dont share i think its save to assume thats because they ant selling ish,am looking at you sony

Vodoo
Vodoo

Wow!!!! I can't believe how the sales of the Wii have totally fallen off over the last year. That thing has had it's day and it's definately over. I wonder how the 360/PS3's sales globally are compared to the Wii now. They have to be aggressively catching up.

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

@blackace Sport games are really popular, it's not hard to believe at all. If they weren't so popular they wouldn't make one every year. They're really fun actually, even if playing the real sport is better but it's hard to organize.

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

\ToT/ My face when Pachter predicted that the PS3 price drop would increase sales by 20-30%. Sometimes he amazes me.

COPMAN221
COPMAN221

PixelAddict Posted "Agreed. These numbers stink of "shipped" not sold. Today's millions shipped are tomorrow's (Black Friday's) door buster sales." "Anyone else feel a "$19.99 for Madden 12" sale coming on?" @PixelAddict, It's almost like they're trying to brainwash people into thinking it's the "must have game" of the year because eveyone has bought it even though I see tons of copies sitting on store shelves. Hell I even see tons of the so called limted edition Madden. The only thing limited about it is the few sheep that actually bought it. I really do hope that EA suffers massives losses on Madden and gives up on the NFL license so finally some real compaines can make a great football game. $10.00 for Madden 12 sounds about right to me on Black Friday.

Son_of_Bmore
Son_of_Bmore

No it drop cuz of Madden who wants the same sports game they got last year

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

@COPMAN221 Agreed. These numbers stink of "shipped" not sold. Today's millions shipped are tomorrow's (Black Friday's) door buster sales. Anyone else feel a "$19.99 for Madden 12" sale coming on?

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

I liked Dead Island. A lot. Spent many hours playing that game with friends. Reminded me very much of Fallout 3, which, let's be honest, wasn't perfect either. And yet it garnered many game of the year awards.

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

Happy to see Deus Ex and Warhammer 40,000 up there. Disappointed to see Black Ops. I don't think this is a failure considering they don't count digital sales. -1% in software sales minus digital sales is great, it actually went up by at least a percent or two.

Setho10
Setho10

@Superzone - I doubt it. Last November saw the release of the Kinect. Without any major Kinect killer app this year I think it will be hard for Microsoft to outdo itself in that area. Regardless, Kinect sales will decide NPD results in November. Now October will be another story. Move didn't get off to as huge a start as Kinect and Battlefield 3 will probably sell as much as double that of Medal of Honor last year. Plus we have Batman to contend with. I think October will be up slightly but November will be down.

daabulls23
daabulls23

A 1% drop is pretty good, especially when you consider that NPD still doesn't account for digital sales.

daabulls23
daabulls23

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dre256x
dre256x

Not surprising, every business has a cycle.. For years videogames sales etc have been on the upswing.. Now a downswing is only right seeing that times are a bit rough right now.. Whats important (which these figures down show) is that if those titles are profitable because if they aren't then the parent company suffers and layoffs could be inbound.

Superzone
Superzone

Sales are sure to skyrocket in November. I currently have Uncharted 3, Super Mario 3D Land, and Skyward Sword all preordered :D

blackace
blackace

Why do we even care about NPD numbers anymore. They don't give out anything we want to see. so why even bother posting it. No hardware or software sales figures. That's what we want to see and if NPD isn't going to give it to us, then screw them. How did Madden sell more then Gears of War 3 in the U.S.? I find that hard to believe. Gears 3 is only on the Xbox 360, so how many Maddens sold on the 360?

COPMAN221
COPMAN221

Strangely I see tons of Madden's sitting on store shelves so I wonder if these numbers reflect actual consumer purchases or just retail.. I just can't understand how crap like Madden beats out games like Resistance 3, Dead Island, Gears of War 3, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I guess thse people are the same sheep that buy into the COD garbage :(

Spacerac
Spacerac

People are still buying Black Ops when Modern Warfare 3 is right around the corner? :?

Rocker6
Rocker6

Im sure we will see a huge rise of sales in November...

TheArcade
TheArcade

I wasn't even aware they made a Resistance 3.