Madden sales 'discouraging,' says EA CEO
John Riccitiello laments annual football sim's slower-than-last-year opening, despite 1.9-million-unit start; Wii version of Madden NFL 10 sells only 67,000 units, less than half the previous year's total.
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Today, the NPD Group released its US retail sales figures for August, reporting a sixth straight month of year-over-year sales declines. Software sales slipped to $470 million, down 15 percent from last year, with EA's Madden NFL 10 on the Xbox 360 topping the chart with 928,000 units sold. According to NPD analyst Anita Frazier, Madden 10 sold nearly 1.9 million units total during the month, a figure that also includes the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PSP, and Wii editions.
Despite that respectable showing, Madden's sales were well off the mark they set in 2008. According to NPD's August 2008 figures, Madden 09 on the Xbox 360 sold 1 million units, some 75,000 more than this year. PS3-edition sales slipped by about 22,000 units, falling from 665,000 to 643,000. Madden on the PS2 saw a substantial drop, going from 424,500 units in August 2008 to just 162,000 units last month.
Notably, neither the Wii nor the PSP editions of Madden 10 cracked NPD's monthly chart. With the Wii edition of Madden 09 debuting with 115,800 units last year, the 2009 edition sold just 66,600 units on the month. The PSP installment fared worse, shifting just 44,600 units, according to the NPD Group.
Though nearly 2 million units sold in two weeks is hardly worth scoffing at, EA CEO John Riccitiello still expressed disappointment in Madden 10's opening drive. As part of an internal memo obtained by financial news service Bloomberg, Riccitiello acknowledged Madden's sliding sales, saying they slipped along with the overall industry trend.
"It is discouraging that one of our highest-rated and best-marketed Madden titles in years is facing strong headwinds," he said, before noting that the overall retail climate "presents a challenge."