Rockstar claims month for second year in a row as total sales slip 14 percent to $743 million; Xbox 360 leads hardware with 270,000 units.
Today, the NPD Group released its May US retail sales report, revealing that the game industry could not maintain two consecutive months of sales growth. After April 2011 numbers spiked 20 percent year-over-year, May's total game-industry haul for new console, portable, and PC games, as well as gaming hardware and accessories, fell 14 percent to $743.1 million.
Rockstar Games appears to be making a habit out of releasing the top game in May. Following on from Red Dead Redemption's platinum debut in May 2010, the Team Bondi-developed L.A. Noire placed atop NPD's software sales charts last month. Though NPD no longer publicly releases unit sales numbers, it did say that Bethesda Softworks' Brink achieved the second-best performance.
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, from Disney Interactive Studios, was the only other new release for the remainder of NPD's top 10 chart. Software returning to the charts included Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat, which reigned in April, as well as continued strong performances from Call of Duty: Black Ops, Zumba Fitness, NBA 2K11, Just Dance 2, and Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars.
"This month's story really is about a light new release schedule as compared to last year," NPD analyst Anita Frazier said of the results. "There were 42 new SKUs introduced in May as compared to 58 last May, and 72 in 2009. This is reflected in the share of dollars contributed by May releases, which was 28% in 2011 as compared to 41% last year."
Turning to hardware, Microsoft again claimed victory for May, independently announcing that it has outsold Nintendo's and Sony's consoles in 11 of the past 12 months. The Xbox 360 sold 270,000 units in May, according to Microsoft, up 39 percent year-over-year. Microsoft also noted that total retail spend on the Xbox 360 platform, including hardware, software, and accessories, reached $265 million last month.
In its own post-NPD statement, Sony was parsimonious with information, saying only that the PlayStation 3 grew sales 14 percent during the month. Frazier noted that Sony's PSP also grew sales in May, but she was less upbeat about 3DS sales. Though Nintendo had not issued its own statement as of press time, Frazier characterized 3DS sales during the month as "light." Overall, hardware sales during the month slipped 5 percent to $228.9 million.
MAY 2011 US GAME SALES
OVERALL DOLLAR SALES
Total retail sales: $743.1 million (-14%)
Total non-PC retail sales: $718.8 million (-13%)
Non-PC hardware: $228.9 million (-5%)
Total software: $400.1 million (-21%)
Non-PC software: $375.8 million (-19%)
Accessories: $114 million (-6%)
TOP 10 GAMES FOR MAY 2011
Title (Platforms) - Publisher
1. L.A. Noire (360, PS3) - Rockstar Games
2. Brink (360, PS3, PC) - Bethesda Softworks
3. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (360, PS3, PSP, Wii, 3DS, DS, PC) - Disney Interactive Studios
4. Portal 2 (360, PS3, PC) - EA Partners
5. Mortal Kombat (360, PS3) - Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
6. Call of Duty: Black Ops (360, PS3, DS, Wii, PC) - Activision
7. Zumba Fitness (360, PS3, Wii) - Majesco
8. NBA 2K11 (360, PS3, PS2, Wii, PSP, PC) - Take-Two Interactive
9. Just Dance 2 (Wii) - Ubisoft
10. Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (Wii, 360, DS, PS3, 3DS, PSP, PC) - LucasArts
Total software sales = $400 million. Non-PC software sales = $375 million. That means that PC software was only $25 million!!! That's terrible. It's only a matter of time for the PC as far as gaming goes.
I have a feeling that L.A. Noire's sales figures are going to drop off quickly. I've just started playing it, and I want to give it a chance, but right now it just feels completely dull. I haven't felt this much buyer's remorse from a game in at least 10 years.
La Noire was nothing but a repetitive series of disconnected, episodic investigations with no story and good graphics. It was the most disappointing game in years for me.
@MinerAvatar[Quote]Take COD:MW3 and BF3 they are coming out a few weeks apart, so for most people it will have to be one or the other. If they released BF3 next week however it would dominate the charts and likely sell way more copies altogether because people needing their FPS fix would jump all over it knowing COD doesn't come out for several more months. Likewise people that are tired of BF3 by the time COD comes out will be able to buy it as well. Its why you will never see a Batman and Spiderman movie released on the same weekend (or even month), the movie industry is smart enough not to compete for the same audience at the same time.[/Quote] The Best thing ever how you said and is true man, the movie industry is way more complicate then gaming :) but if you look in past gaming wasn't so popular at that time, now most of us age 10 cant stand without a game :D
Looking at this chart just proves game makers should get smart and start releasing more AAA games year round. Instead they all want to release Oct-Dec, its not the 1980's anymore, when the average gamers where just kids that had to have parents buy things for them. If your game is good people will buy it whenever it comes out, and if its really good, people will still want it for Christmas. With games at 60 bucks a pop and having the best games all come out at once, some of those titles won't sell like they would have without direct competition for your money. Take COD:MW3 and BF3 they are coming out a few weeks apart, so for most people it will have to be one or the other. If they released BF3 next week however it would dominate the charts and likely sell way more copies alltogether because people needing their FPS fix would jump all over it knowing COD doesn't come out for several more months. Likewise people that are tired of BF3 by the time COD comes out will be able to buy it as well. Its why you will never see a Batman and Spiderman movie released on the same weekend (or even month), the movie industry is smart enough not to compete for the same audience at the same time.
@dRuGGeRnaUt I think that the witcher 2 isn't on that list because its PC only at this point. All the big name games get release an all platforms right away. I also think that because its a game that not every desktop and only a few very powerful laptops can handle, many people were hesitant to buy it and now many will wait for the console version.
assassins creed had a good open world experience but it was also as repetitive as they come. the second one fixed this though and brotherhood was good as well.
Totally agree with the negative LA Noir reviews. I tend to be a reluctantly big Rockstar games fan - I thought GT4 was incredible, and Red Dead Redemption was also fantastic. I'm wondering if the Rockstar openworld formula is starting to wear thin. LA Noir was *highly* disappointing to me. I **REALLY** wanted to love LA Noir too. I'd been waiting so long for it - it had such glaring issues with some of the mechanics and story elements - Yes, the performances of the characters were awesome - but as everyone said - the game was so disconnected from itself and this is one of the major dangers of "Cinematic Gaming" done in an OPEN WORLD setting. LA Noir should not have been an Open World game - it should have been focused, and Linear, and it would of come out a much more immersive and engaging experience because of it. This game suffered a bit from "Mafia" syndrome in which you have this incredible city to explore, but its essentially just a facade, all pretty with no substance. It just exists to waste time for you driving from one location to the next. I hardly ever dorve myself, i just let my partner drive. seemed little point. This game wasn't terrible, but it does not deserve the ratings it got at all. this game was about a 7 or 7.5 on gamespots scale. It is not in the same league as the Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead, or Assassins Creed open world game series.
La Noire was nothing but a repetitive series of disconnected, episodic investigations with no story and good graphics. It was the most disappointing game in years for me.
Black ops is going to be in the chart until moder warfare 3???? Its amazing how it keeps selling so good....
@MarioKovacic1 Everybody is entitled to their opinion, I'm glad you recognize that. I'm not just a one in a million though, people have a similar opinion of L.A Noire, just read this comment box for instance; the four people below have written similar statements. Don't be so ignorant..... I say "rubbish" as do a considerable amount of British people. Have an issue with that?
LA Noire might have good facial movements, but the story was not enough to hold this game. The story cases for the most part were boring, and hunting for clues was repetitive and lame. How many times can cigarette butts and empty beer bottles be planted as possible clues. To make matter worse, the street cases were a joke and most ended within a few seconds of starting, with the stupid-A detective smirking at the end of it. I am glad I got this game on sale and was happy to get rid of it. Other than getting some easy trophies, this game was not worth it. The game does not deserve the positive hype. Improved facial movements do not make a game and Team Bondi should be put to sleep as this is what this game did for me.
The witcher 2 isnt even on the list? lame. I know everyone always says "yeah but they dont include digital downloads" and stuff, but honestly, if digital download numbers were at all insane, they would be showing them off all the time to prove their are sales #'s in pc games. I think there a reason behind not releasing direct download numbers, and they need to stop. I don't know if they are doing it to "save face", but seriously, how in this day an age can they not say how many were downloaded? xbox live and PSN always release their digital numbers. Fact is, i think if thety did, there would be even less support for PC gamers. It's the only logical reason i can find for them not releasing DD numbers. Lots of other companies and "platforms" keep track of these things, why can't they?
I got bored of LA Noire after 12 cases and turned it back in. It just felt like I was doing the same darn thing over and over. In essence I received the case, went to the scene, interrogated suspects (with possible chase), then put someone in jail. It wasn't as repetitive as the original Assassins Creed, but to me it was close.
If you own an older PS3 L.A Noire could possibly give you the YLOD. It did to my 60gb Fat PS3... and I've read tons more have had it happen to their older console playing the game. Even 360's have fried playing it. You've been warned!!!!
Another article and yet another dumb fanboy comment war!? What is wrong with all of you who come on here time and again, just to argue that the console that you happen to own, is so much better than the rest of them on the market? I really don't get it? They all have there pros and cons! I own a xbox360 and a pc and I would rather play some of the games that are on the PS3 than some that are on the xbox but... then again it works the other way round too. I wish all you that focus your efforts on "Fanboy," talk would use your time better by complaining instead about the so called "Console Exclusives," that each company use to flog their system? I personally hate them more, if I buy a game, i would like all the content that comes with that game but no... if you buy the PS3 version, then you will get extra missions + a super douper gun and a lollipop etc. There was a new law or rule or something that tried to put a stop to all that a few years ago, but to me it is just the same. I wish to be able to choose games in a shop, not to choose which console the games are on first? Then realise, I need to choose a different game because I don't have that particular console to play it on! All games should be available to play for everyone, no matter which console they own and that should include the ones made by the consoles themselves? WHY NOT? ...but no, most like shouting about how this console is better than that console! Grrrr, Fanboys!?
@DarkrideHex66 "The Xbox 360 sold 270,000 units in May, according to Microsoft, up 39 percent year-over-year." Yeah your right, it is good to see "that other system" being supported in the united states even though its "buggy and have to pay to go online." End sarcasm, oh and I would rather pay any time/any day for a service that actually works all the time instead of having it go down for months at a time.
L.A. Noire is a fantastic game!! :D and wow Black Ops is still in the top 10? I guess that dosen't surprise me to much.
Nice to see that even in a slumping industry, the PS3 is still showing growth in the US. It's a good platform with great games, it deserves the sales in NA. Never understood why it did so well everywhere else, but the US still supported that other, buggy platform that you have to pay for to go online. Crazy. And there was once a time on Gamespot where you'd be banned just for saying it.
Well, I finally got around to purchasing Hyperdimension Neptunia, Record of Agarest War and Deathsmiles, so I contributed to these sales, but apparently not to the top performers. I like the summertime for less game releases. It gives me time to catch up on games and to snag some bargains or hard-to-find stuff.
More sales data showing the Xbox 360 continuing to dominate both hardware and software sales. Money talks. Trolls justify things to suit their own warped version of reality.
Also if the video games weren't 60$ a pop, and maybe back to 49.99$ like the old. Serious sam is an old school kick-ass FPS shooter and when it came out it was 19.99$ if games were 39- 49$ i could see sales getting better, maybe.
Ok, so i'm playing LA Noire right now, and i'm liking it for the most part. The facial animations are the best I have ever seen, and the story's great. BUT. What's the deal with the sort of busted Lie/Doubt/Truth system? While facial reactions and insight into the clues comes into play, it seems it always boils down to a guess, and I'm almost always wrong. I love the game, but that part of it makes me want to play something else sometimes.
Rockstar games won another year of sales but year not over yet aslo could see LA Noire 2 near future maybe on ps4 and xbox760 whats called for know. aslo for Brink well done could see brink 2 near future anyways have to wait until gta5 out by next dec 212 :[. But for know getting saints row 3 :] But i know they planing something special in the next gta5 thats why they takeing time at it hell ya.
"revealing that the game industry could not maintain two consecutive months of sales growth" No s***. Excuse us for not having the kind of cash to buy $40 to $50 worth of games every other week.
@monson21502, many PC and mutliplatfrom games look far better on the PC. It's not a hassle to play games on the PC and if you don't like the mouse, you have controllers for the PC(there are Xbox 360 controllers for the PC). Also PC does not break down like the Xbox 360 and nor has problems like Xbox 360. PS3 and the Wii have major games coming this year as well. Enjoy your day. Xbox 360 fanboys are so funny at times.
@lightwarrior179 digital sales are never included in this (that s*** dwarf c*** :), why don't they publich that i don't know and i don't carre because tw2 sold verry well), but a well deserved no.1 place for la noire
Regarding the Witcher 2, note how many PC-only games are on this list. Answer? None. toddx77 is right about casual gamers, maybe even avid gamers: you have to use well thought-out tactics in Witcher 2. There aren't any prompts, even the single one seen in The Witcher. Plus, the political and personal dynamics are intricate; you have to pay attention to keep up. CD Projekt's response? Make the adjustment, though they did acknowledge problems with blocking and targeting, and they fixed them in patch 1.2. Excellent integrity. I hope 360 sales are good enough to help CD Projekt reach the 1.5 million in sales-to-dateThe Witcher has. They deserve financial as well as critical success.
wow, Brink took #2? I'm impressed! LA Noire had a massive marketing blitz, I would have been surprised if they didn't get #1!
Black Ops is still there. *facepalm* It's disappointing to see Witcher 2 not even appear on this list. Though I reckon NPD doesn't take the digital sales through GOG and Steam into account
@nephili232 I think its even bigger shame that CoD BO is still on the list ruining FPS genre.As long as we have CoD,we will get very few good FPS games.
@monson21502 Atually,I think Witcher 2 wont sell that much on Xbox,its a hardcore game,not some consolised piece of crap that constantly holds your hand.And Im sure these are just retail sales,digital sales number dont ever get published.
@Tak666 Give a casual gamer a game like the witcher and they will turn it off the minute they actually have to think or the game doesn't hold their hand lol.
Thank God The Witcher 2 is selling good in Europe. Looks like games like this aren't the most tempting to buy for casual Yanks. Such a let down.
So very well deserved, LA Noire is stunning... it gets me real excited for them applying the same technology to facial animations in GTA games in future.
Hopefully LA Noire's good sales number will convince Rockstar to do a sequel. I really enjoyed it and I feel like they could wrinkle out the imperfections in a sequel.
@steelmouth i think more people like xbox live's online functionality over psn and the wii's. so if a game is released on multiple platforms and if people own multiple systems and have to choose one version over the other, i think most would rather play it on a 360 so they can still interact with xbox live while playing their favorite multiplatform game. word spreads that xbox live is the better online experience and this might explain more 360s being sold. i find myself doing this quite often myself because im quite fond of xbox live. as many awesome games that the ps3 has, i have to say that ms really hit it out of the park when they created and modified xbox live throughout the years. it just has more features and is just an easier and generally more fun to use online community than the others, so far that is. truth be told, im a little wary of how the new xbox live is going to look thats coming out this year. hopefully they dont screw things up.
Content you might like…
Users who looked at this article also looked at these content items.
Avalanche Studios co-founder says developer's ambition is for action, not moments that make players cry; steampunk-style game on hold. Full Story
- Posted May 15, 2013 6:33 am PT
4A Games creative director Andrew Prokhorov thanks Jason Rubin for telling the studio's story, but says, "We deserve the ratings we get." Full Story
- Posted May 16, 2013 12:44 pm PT