Wolfenstein sells 106K on PC, PS3, and 360 combined

Raven's reboot of classic id shooter series sees lackluster sales in month of overall software decline.

by

When the NPD Group released its non-PC US game sales figures for August earlier today, one of the month's highest-profile titles was missing in action. Neither the Xbox 360 nor the PlayStation 3 version of Wolfenstein cracked the top 10, despite the classic id shooter reboot being promoted by Activision--which was shut out of the top 10 entirely.

Magic-wielding Nazi mad scientists aren't as big a draw as they used to be.

How poorly did Wolfenstein fare? According to NPD numbers obtained by GameSpot, the 360 version sold just over 59,000 units, with the PS3 edition barely clearing 30,000. Add in the PC iteration's 17,000 units, and Wolfenstein sold only around 106,000 units in the five days from its August 25 launch to August 29, when NPD's monthly reporting period ended.

Given Wolfenstein's largely positive reviews, its underperformance was likely disappointing to Activision, id, and developer Raven Software. It was not, however, totally unexpected. The day after Wolfenstein shipped, Madison, Wisconsin-based Raven laid off 30 to 35 staffers, which many industry-watchers took as a sign that Wolfenstein preorders were below expectations.

Luckily, Raven will have another chance next year. The studio's next project, the original sci-fi actioner Singularity, was pushed back to Q1 2010 for fear that it would be overshadowed by Activision's big holiday release, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Discussion

327 comments
ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

The single player is great. Multiplayer is terrible and laggy. Buy it for the campaign.

coolcoolguybg
coolcoolguybg

I really enjoy the single player portion of Wolfenstein. The game is really impressive on so many levels. Amost as good as RtCW. Too bad the game doesn't sell well. :(

robboy2
robboy2

well i liked the game so i quess an expansion is out of the question

boney614
boney614

Who gives a s*** about games like Wolfenstein when you have left 4 dead 2, cll of duty modern warfare 2 and mass effect 2 coming out soon.

IncipitOmega
IncipitOmega

Raven,for god's sake..make a Hexen sequel with a good multiplayer interface.

nfur33
nfur33

Great games have great sales numbers, bad games have bad sales numbers. It is even harder now than ever to sell bad/marginal games. Even this global recession/depression won't slow the sales of Modern Warfare 2.

kvan33
kvan33

Gamers can smell a lame cash in. It take more than just Nazis and Zombies to sell a game these days. My crystal ball tells me that Singularity is going to be a bland FPS as well.

madd-gamer
madd-gamer

hmmm.... I am sad it did bad....the game was not bad.....but certainly lacked the original touch

linhlh
linhlh

FPS nowadays must have strong Multiplayer to have good value and good sale, unless the SP is lengthy and offers something unique and extraordinary moments like Bioshock. Wolfenstein has neither, so the low sale numbers aren't surprising.

malcorn2
malcorn2

They should have let Nerve Software do the mp. Nerve did RTCW and they did a fine job with it. Id should have not tried to fix what wasnt broke.Raven did a real sh*tty job on this new wolf. I cant believe they were satisfied with the product they shipped. When I heard that Raven did this game I was nervous but preordered and now I wish I would have listened to that instinct. Raven should have stuck to where they belong with Soldier of Fortune.

Frogpower
Frogpower

HA HA! Maybe gamers ARE starting to get bored of always recycling the same formula in every single game after all. No I guess it's because there's no multiplayer [sobs].

isosann
isosann

return to castele wolenstein was a legend it was the best of its time but this is only a good game dont worth buying if u ask me.

smookert010
smookert010

Just have to add another thing If they would focus on only the multilayer aspect, they would have made loads of money Who wouldn't bought the awesome sequel of RTCW/ET Its like this game is made by a bunch of monkeys ?

MERGATROYDER
MERGATROYDER

I expected this game to sell very well. I thought the game was great. A step in the right direction for the developers since it's first title. This title did seem like a bunch of games smashed into one at time though.

Redhunt_86
Redhunt_86

it would be contradictory to say that the game sold badly because of it's MP since real world evidence points to single player only or SP with lackluster MP games selling very well e.g. Bioshock. As had been said multiple times, the scenario they had picked for this game just doesn't hold the same amount of appeal to gamers as when the 1st few iterations was first released. The gimmick was not able to stand well enough on its own to carry sales forward as well. Coupled with console players who only wishes to play games with extreme hype like GOW , Halo and COD, other FPS clambering for a spot in the FPS market is severely overlooked by them. 17k for PC without direct DL version for sure. Considering the amount of poor console oriented (MP centric, throw away SP e.g COD 4, Halo, Red Faction) FPS games being ported for the PC, the PC audience is probably fed up with garbage being thrown at them. the PC audience want FPS SP games which are able to captivate and enthrall them. After all, we are the most experienced market for FPS .

Asumababadebaji
Asumababadebaji

The reason Wolfenstein Failed so bad is the Multiplayer sucks. Everyone Cancelled thier Preorders once the MP beta was leeked and we seen how lame it is. Supposedly thier going to release a patch and SDk "Soon", but its too little too late. This is what happens when you let Amatures(Endrant) who have never even made a game make your MP.

green_dominator
green_dominator

ID needs to pull Wolfenstein and any other franchise they licensed out and just make the games themselves, there is nothing wrong with still having Raven or anyone else help out in key areas but Id should be doing it's own games...... It would be the same thing if Mr. Myamoto licensed out Mario and oh......Eidos made a knock off game...... That's what Wolfenstein has become a knock off, It looked really cool during production but in the end it was just a last gen game made for current gen hardware......I was expecting...well Something like COD World At War with some crazy stuff mixed in there, a world to explore but it's not, It's just.......stupid really... Rage is gonna blow everyone away and Id is gonna do what they do....keep making great games and up the technology....

AlienMinator
AlienMinator

I like Wolfenstien, I really enjoyed return to wolfenstien for what it was at the time, a WWII FPS with a supernatural twist and thats what you got. This installment has brought shame to the franchise. no ,matter what difficulty level you play the game on it makes no difference. The enemy AI does not prove difficult and when encountered they are very few of them, objects respawn quicker then the AI. The games selling point ( according to the developers) of BJ being able to use the rooftops, sewers and using the vail to walk through walls, locked doors etc and not be seen by the enemy, in truth, there were very, very few rooftops to clamber on, using the sewers was pointless as you hardly moved anywhere and nobody told the enemy AI that they are not supposed to be able to see you while in the vail. The developers have ruined what could have been a great game and in doing so they may have done to BJ what the Nazis failed to do.

sharpshooter188
sharpshooter188

when are we going to be able to kill mecha hitler again? im not one for remakes but some elements you just cannot get rid of.

chrisg276
chrisg276

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

MidnightKilla
MidnightKilla

They will inevitably pull the piracy card. Even though we can all see how well good games such as Batman: Arkham Asylum fared (which was also released for PC, PS3 and 360). Wolfenstein wasn't a bad game per se, but it was just uninspired and it they took to long to release it. Engine limitations are very apparent - the small town felt like a claustrophobic dungeon run, with dumb AI enemies spawning everywhere in a pathetic attempt to slow down your progress. Vale powers... would've been better done if you could pass through all walls and obstacles, not just some predetermined places. But then again the levels were so small that you would hit an impassable wall every 2 minutes. If the game featured a newer engine that could support big environments where you could go trough walls with vale powers it would've sold much better. When I first saw the Wolfenstein previews I fully expected to be able to be able to use my vale powers in a much less restricted fashion.

gmgo
gmgo

This isn't a reboot, it is actually a direct sequel to Return to Castle Wolfenstein, which WAS the reboot (funny, how "return" is the reboot and just "wolfenstein" is the sequel.) Anyway, I know the game had it's downside, but it was very fun to play. I just played it for the entire weekend and enjoyed all of it. Maybe it is just me, but I loved it. This is bad news. I really hoped that I could see a sequel before another 8 years or more. Hopefully, Doom 4 with ID Tech 5 will blow our minds.

spotty6
spotty6

i liked the game and i want a second using more ideas plz

IXIWhistIXI
IXIWhistIXI

People are just not so much into single player adventure fps games. If it's not a slightly realistic war simulator with online multiplayer it's just not what people want. This game just feels like a game that would have shined in the late 90s eairly 2000s game play and theme-wise. (obviously graphics are current gen). The game just doesn't feel exciting, And steam would have helped.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

Wolfenstein as an IP is dead. Let it go. Quake for that matter is dead as well. I've still got hopes for Doom, it's the iconic IP of id Software and will probably be timeless. Drop the two IPs and come up with something new. I'd love to see some sort of hybrid between F.E.A.R. and Condemned as a new IP.

chandu83
chandu83

Steam or not, the game had it problems. Just didn't seem to have the same quality that most id game do. Quake 4 had better production values. What's with the respawning enemies in the cities? OK, so enemies respawn, but even barrels? And that too in the exact same location? That was stupid.

Vasot
Vasot

I hate steam no thanks. I prefer buying DVD games

Aktunka
Aktunka

I think that they made a huge error by not offering this on Steam. That is where I buy PC games from nowadays and I know other folks that do pretty much the same. Heck, I even make some "impulse" buys off of Steam when there is an especially attractive sale going on.

THORINATOR
THORINATOR

Ok, so Wolfenstein isn't the best FPS ever,but still i think it offers a good solid game...the campaign is great but yeah the multiplayer isn't so great, i'd enjoy it more if i didn't keep getting such chronic lag during an online match!

lee1823
lee1823

to be fair.... i never even knew the game was coming out until i saw the review on gamespot? Considering i've played all previous Wolfenstein games and I am familiar with the IP...... could it have been marketed a little better? i have played the game, and while not groundbreaking, it is pretty good - prefer it to 'return to castle Wolfenstein'.

Shadow_th
Shadow_th

I'll find it funny as hell if they pull the piracy card. All my friends said this was crap, so I just won't buy it, because I've already played a bit of it with them... and Return to Castle Wolfenstein was really great. Maybe that's the proof how sugarcoating a game, using the IP to sell it won't do that well.

The_Godfather_
The_Godfather_

wolfenstein could be a great game if they've done right...

Arthas045
Arthas045

This game was kind of a surprising release to me...

M_de_graaff
M_de_graaff

Still hope they patch this game. It's broken but still a lot of fun when your actually able to play it.

IgotEpixx
IgotEpixx

Proof that sheer nostalga doesn't sell a game.

x8VXU6
x8VXU6

Im srry but it looks like a run-of-the-mill shooter to me and thats why I didnt get it cuz I dont see anything new. the first Wolfenstein is before my time but I know wat it is and I played it before but not for hours and hours maybe 15 minutes at the most, I know wat it did for gaming and we wouldnt have alot of the great games we have today. BUT this game doesnt WOW me and thats why I really dont want it.

Kfoss
Kfoss

wow that really sucks, at Quakecon this year id had the demo up all over the floor and were really pushing it, i mean its not the best fps but its worth playing, especially for the scifi parts, maybe if they lower the price and put it on Steam? who knows but wow only 17,000 units on the pc- thats like the population of a small town in the middle of nowhere......

Deathscyth-Hell
Deathscyth-Hell

This game was just another of Activision's attempt to milk a cash cow. It would've been nice to see it fail, but oh well, this is almost as good.

juberline
juberline

This game certainly delivers the FPS goods and has one of the most enjoyable single player experinces out there. The review on here gets it spot on (although the score could be increased by a point of half in my opinion), it has flaws (but most games do) but it's worth experiencing. I think sales would have increased if a demo was available. I do 100% agree with Dynamo11 on this one and believe that this could of and should of been a hit of 2009. And i agree with Gornax on the multi player, it was such a missed opportunity considering the previous outing was such a hit online.

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Such a shame they messed this one up... Wolfenstein could've been the biggest game of 2009 if they didn't miss so many obvious opportunities!

Gornax
Gornax

The game was so terrible i actually found Summer athletics more enjoyable. Loss of money on multiplayer , boring weapons and missions, damn what a waste of time and money.

theguf
theguf

It was a nice time filler until Batman came out. Yet another game that could've improved 200% with a bit more attention to what the buyers expected to get in the box. They should've chunked MP for a more polished game, IMO.

gijas
gijas

Hum... they should have released it digitally instead of retail... duh.

BessenStock
BessenStock

@wellbigd StarCraft....????....Profit. You're a liar.

BessenStock
BessenStock

That's sad. Wolfenstein was a fun game to go through. A lot better than I thought. It wasn't the best but eh, it filled my crave.

kmatras69
kmatras69

This is a good game. Single player is great but the multiplayer is awful. Multiplayer is the only thing that keeps it from being a GREAT game instead of a GOOD game.