NCAA Football 13 Tops July In Sales But Concerns Arise Due to Decline

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Posted August 9th, 2012 at 4:45 pm

For the previous two iterations of the NCAA Football series EA Sports was quick to come out and announce sales increases in their respective opening weeks. The silence this year was just one indication that NCAA Football 13 was struggling to keep up the pace and in fact was dealing with a significant drop in sales. 

Opening month for NCAA 11 was up 8% over NCAA 10, while NCAA 12 then rose another 15% over NCAA 11. So while the series was growing the consumer base after a few years of stagnation it wasn’t doing so at a rate that would protect against a down year. As expected NCAA 13 carried the month but worry over its future is warranted.

NCAA 12 opened with 796K copies combined between the Xbox 360 and PS3. Though the official numbers have yet to be produced the info I’ve received regarding NCAA 13 suggest a drop of about 12% year-over-year. This post will be updated once final data is realized.

EA relied almost solely on former Heisman winners in their marketing efforts. It’s always difficult to tell what impact names from the past will have on sales but really only NBA 2K bringing in Michael Jordan has produced notable results. The reliance on legends is somewhat costly and if not integrated in a worthwhile fashion consumers have shown general indifference towards them.

Multiple retailers including Amazon dropped the price of NCAA 13 to $45 for pre-orders which did generate a surge of consumer interest but ultimately that meant a shifting of dollars to those retailers and not necessarily enough people on the fence being swayed by the lower price.

Reviews and word of mouth was also sub-standard. In many cases sales of yearly sports titles tend to reflect consumer’s feelings towards the prior year’s product. NCAA 12 was released with a myriad of issues and there was a high level of discontent generated – so a flat follow-up in the form of NCAA 13 was unable to sway those carrying those feelings back on board. Reviews of NCAA 13 have been poor (mine certainly less than glowing as well) putting it at a level rated below any NCAA release in over 10 years. Madden NFL 13 has also overshadowed the release with major advancements while NCAA 13 showed a distinct lack of ambition.

The NCAA series is now on very shaky ground. Without a strong digital revenue source – which makes sales numbers that much more critical than for other titles like Madden or FIFA –  while facing player likeness lawsuits and giving up the exclusive rights to college football EA is going to have a difficult time reestablishing the franchise’s viability if they continue to reduce resources and produce a second-class product.

  • Woooooo

    First. Let’s hear it Keith!

    • Keith.

      Vgchartz is showing closer to a 20% drop through last week, which sounds more right to me. Given that the post-patch freeze thread over at OS now has 150+ posts (guess the patch didn’t work), I expect the sales decline to become even more dramatic.

      One thing’s for sure, Hamburglar can kiss his gig goodbye.

      If the 7.5 OXM Madden review is an indication of things to come for that game, EA is really in trouble. And if it, too, releases with freeze problems, game may be over for them.

      • Keith.

        Ian and Phil, meet Hamburglar. I’m sure all 3 of you guys remember David Ortiz. Be sure to keep the porch light on for Cam Weber, who’ll probably be joining ya soon

      • Keith.

        Come to think of it, things are even worse for EA since the game could be had for $45 on release day this year. Lower sales plus lower sales price plus ongoing litigation costs equals disaster for EA’s bottom line.

      • Christopher5

        Man i went over to OS forums a few days ago and had some questions for the gamechangers and the next day i had an inbox message from somebody saying i had been warned for the post i put in the forum. Didn’t realize i couldn’t call the game garbage LOL. Glad i can express my opinion here without being banned.

  • 4HorsemenWooooo

    Wooooooo!

  • http://twitter.com/WillBradley15 Will Bradley

    Ouch!! wake up call EA… 12% drop maybe this will finally wake them up and fix their game. NCAA 13 is so glitched its not even funny, the game freezing after games, the whole defense freezing on certain plays, the user catch is HORRIBLE, i could go on and this is coming from a die hard NCAA football fan, i must say i wasted my money on this game

    • Christopher5

      i got close a couple days ago when i found a copy on amazon with free 2 day shippings for $32.00. Just couldn’t pull the trigger, glad i didn’t. I just downloaded a new roster for ncaa 12, and im havin a ball.

  • newtonfb22

    if metal gear on the ps2 played the same on the ps3 i woulndt buy it either. EA sports has not made any next gen strides. Backbreaker was a not so good game but you cant argue that it was the closest thing to next gen that this generation of football games have seen.

    • Keith.

      Well said.

    • Ridge10

      Backbreaker wasnt a football game. It was just crazy looking physics that were overly exaggerated. The actual football part was pathetically bad.

      NCAA is not a great game but at least its football.

      • Keith.

        I loved Backbreaker (online) so this is a different Keith, or someone pretending to be me.

  • Grooo

    Count me as someone who was waiting for Madden. They didnt give any good reason to buy NCAA this year.

  • 49ersfan1

    well what other games would beat this. this is a newly released game.

    • 49ersfan1

      wait till madden 13 and nba 2k13 come out

      • jz

        Cause NBA 2k13 looks so good lol. Jay Z helped with NBA 2K13 and I’m sure he added all his basketball and video game knowledge he has. O wait hes a raper.

        • FUCKEA

          *rapper. normally I don’t correct spelling on the internets but there is a big difference between the word “raper” and “rapper”.

          • 49ersfan1

            lol

  • http://twitter.com/alexgritz Alex Gritzmacher

    You also have to take into account that the entire video game industry took a 20% hit from last July. So whatever that total drop for NCAA is, it’s not entirely based on the quality of the game. People weren’t buying nearly as many video games as they were this time last year.

    • Keith.

      NCAA football usually IS the video game industry for July, just like Madden used to be for August (now it’ll be September, since Madden comes out on August 28).

      Saying the videogame industry took a 20% hit is pretty much saying NCAA took a 20% hit.

    • JerseyPatriot

      While the game industry did take a hit, the reduction in sales on NCAA 13 is mostly because of a weak product. Look at what EA is doing with the NHL series, they are improving on a game that has no competition. I would be very surprised if NHL 13 does not outsell NHL 12, although if a lockout in the NHL happens, all bets are off.

      In today’s age, people want a product that that they can brag about and be proud of owning. NCAA 13 is not that product. It is lackluster in a world where brilliance is expected.

      How many people do you know who are in debt up to their eyeballs and yet you see them carrying around an iPhone and an iPad? I’ve seen hundreds, they need that product and don’t care that they probably can’t afford it. I can afford NCAA 13, I just don’t want it.

      Also, most long-time gamers know that once Madden comes out, if they
      still want NCAA 13, it should be available for about half price, if not
      less on the secondary market.

  • jz

    Every patch and tunner makes the game worse. I don’t even get how people can be this stupid. People await the big patch in late August but we all know that patch will break more new things than it fixes.
    Your a fool if you think Madden 13 will be any different. They removed more stuff than they added this year.

    • Christopher5

      removed editing of all things…why go through that trouble to do that?

  • Jwaan

    Well gameplay issues and whatnot are probably factors but I wouldnt be surprised if the biggest factor was that there is generally no reason to buy NCAA 13. Speaking for myself at least, i started playing the series back in the PS2 days only to get the draft classes.

    But since there is no import there really isnt an incentive to buy unless your a big ncaa fan + not as big of an NFL fan. The sales this yr may better represent who is really interested in the game as far as actually playing it. however it may drop again next year because the series really hasnt improved enough to drop 60 on it annually, especially w/ no import feature (as far as we know).

    As long as thats the case this game will probably drop lower in sales and become possibly more of a niche game…

  • MoneyMayweather

    Nobody cares 7th gen sucks. I”ll have fun playing NCAA football 06 for the next 30 years pish pash who cares about the latest and greatest when EA Football engine sent us back 30 years. same goes with madden oh but look at the real NFL players FUCK OFF! NFL 2k5 or Madden 2005 for life in that order.

  • http://www.facebook.com/wil.johnstonsanders Wil Johnston-Sanders

    Maybe if they made it available outside of America they would sell more? Im from Australia and id love to buy it!!

  • CJ

    It should be called NCAA Freezeball 13.

    • leo

      i was all happy after the new patch fixed the franchise freezing and then my game froze ingame in halftime….

  • Christopher5

    Its been real Hamburglar!! See Ya!

    • eagleyedesigns

      I know you appreciate my posts, but just remember you are messing with THE NAME I gave him…I am the originator of it…Don’t ruin it or forget it! LOL…

      • Christopher5

        Haha i really didn’t realize it was you that gave him that name, but i will agree with you. It fits, and i just want a good game for a change.

  • Dolaction

    Things EA needs to stop doing
    1. No more presentation improvements. We all button mash through the opening screens on the coin toss and in between plays, it’s a massive waste of time and resources
    2. Less emphasis on Dynasty and other superfluous game modes. In short, these have become gimmicks. Online is the arena now. Lower the price, keep head to head matchups, remove one button mode. I know what years not to buy NCAA when they herald presentation more than gameplay.
    3. Hoarding the licenses for football games. The last year that Madden or any game made decent improvements was way back in 2005 with the hit stick. Since then, there has been little improvement. 2k pushed EA as much as EA pushed 2k. The only result I see from that is 2k then had the time and manpower to focus on making NBA2k the best game that it could be.

    • CJ

      Disagree about the online part. I think the majority of us still play mostly offline dynasty. Well, actually I don’t play ANY mode right now because this game is an infuriating freeze fest. I hope to God that Madden is better.

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