Has it been a month already? I’m still busy playing through all the games I bought in March, and apparently a lot of you guys are too: according to the NPD sales data released today, April was a pretty slow month for the industry. Only 4 out of the top 10 bestselling games for the month were new releases, and overall sales of physical products (consoles, boxed games) was down once again, this time 25% when compared to last year.
NetherRealm Studios’ Injustice: Gods Among Us was the biggest hit of the month, making it the first fighting game in two years to take home the top spot — the last time that happened was back in 2011 with Mortal Kombat (also developed by NetherRealm.) Dead Island Riptide managed to take second place, despite mixed reviews from critics, while BioShock Infinite continued to sell strong and finished in third. Take-Two, BioShock’s publisher, announced earlier this week that Infinite has sold 3.7 million copies since it was released in March.
Defiance managed to come in fifth place, just behind Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which hasn’t left the NPD charts since it was released a few months ago. Despite a rocky, bug filled launch, Defiance seems to be a bona-fide hit: Trion Worlds has announced that the MMO now boasts 1 million active users, and the game’s tie-in TV series has been renewed for a second season on the SyFy Channel.
Surprisingly, the only other new release from April to crack the top 10 was Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins for 3DS. The open world Lego action game has been described by many critics as an all-ages GTA. The 3DS version of Lego City is a prequel to the “main” story presented in the Wii U version of the title, but it seems like the 3DS game is far more popular than its console counterpart.
That’s not surprising when you consider the wide gap in popularity between the 3DS and the Wii U: Nintendo announced today that 3DS software sales are up a whopping 52%, making the 3DS the only system whose sales have actually increased when compared to last year’s numbers. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Wii U, which continues to limp along: Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter estimates that the system once again only managed to sell 50,000 units this month, a figure that puts it just slightly ahead of the 30,000 that the Vita sold in the same period. Third parties are rapidly giving up on the Wii U as it continues to under-perform at retail, and Nintendo definitely needs to make some major changes (PROTIP: cut the price already, secure some exclusives) if they don’t want their latest home console to be their last. Nintendo announced today that they’re going to broadcast another Nintendo Direct livestream tomorrow, which will reportedly be focused on new titles for the Wii U.
The best selling console overall was once again the Xbox 360, which managed to sell 130,000 units during the month. Not a bad figure, considering Microsoft is planning to unveil the 360’s successor in a matter of days.
Anyway, here’s the full top 10 list:
- Injustice: Gods Among Us
- Dead Island: Riptide
- Bioshock Infinite
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
- Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon
- NBA 2k13
- Skylanders Giants
- Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins
- MLB 13: The Show
May will probably be another quiet month for the games industry, as Metro: Last Light seems to be the only major, triple A release for the month. Of course, with E3 just a few weeks away, everyone seems more preoccupied with the games we’ll see later rather than the games that are available now, so perhaps publishers are just avoiding releasing anything now out of fear of being overshadowed by next-gen news.