Madden 10 Shows Strength in September

Posted October 19th, 2009 at 4:25 pm


The official NPD sales numbers for September were released today providing an opportunity to look for results from the two hockey titles as well as how Madden 10 has been performing and its long-term outlook. NCAA Football 10 saw a more pronounced loss of sales its first month and followed that up by a heavier than usual drop in the second month. After faring relatively well with its first month’s take how did Madden do in September?

As discussed in the August sales article Madden 10 saw a drop of 3% from last year which was marginal considering the circumstances. With the price drops for the 360 and PS3 there would be potential for the sales to be stronger than usual in the coming months. The first opportunity to gauge that presented itself in September.

The sales last September for Madden 09 were 224,000 for the 360 and approximately 141,000 for the PS3. Those numbers represented a drop of 78% from its launch month. The average drop seen for yearly sports titles is right in that 75-80% range. It comes as no surprise that the majority of sports gamers want to pick it up right away as the excitement for the coming seasons is peaking. The longer waiting on the game the less fresh and relevant it becomes.

Madden 10 opened in August with 928,000 on the 360 and 665,000 on the PS3. September brought 289,600 for the 360 and 246,500 for the PS3 placing it in 3rd and 6th respectively. That represents a drop of just 66% which is outstanding for such a highly anticipated yearly title. As the PS3 had an especially good month due to the introduction of the PS3 Slim you can see the affect that was had with its version only dropping only 63% while the 360 still fell only 69%.

For comparisons sake NCAA Football 10 dropped 83% in its second month. This stronger than normal September for Madden shows it is a top consideration when consumers are building up a library with a new console and that the gamer response and reviews for Madden 10 have positively affected its sales. NCAA Football can’t lay claim to those factors.

This is especially encouraging for EA given the state of the economy. That first month sales only were down the 3% from last year but this follow-up month has been much stronger than we’ve seen in previous years.  The low declines show that the game has even more potential over the holiday months and should perform better than last year.

NHL 10 did not place in the top 10, hockey games traditionally have never been strong sellers and would not nearly reach the 200,000+ on one platform needed to chart. However EA had the benefit of all praise it received, great word-of-mouth, and awards that 09 won. As such launch month sales for NHL 10 certainly will have seen an increase as many latched onto the series post-release last year. It will likely make an appearance once the top 20 is posted. (UPDATE) NHL 10 came in 14th for the 360 selling right around 180,000 copies which is a great result. The PS3 did not chart in the top 20 meaning it sold less than 130,000.

NHL 2K10’s sales are believed insignificant and no where near the top 20. It once again raises the question whether the franchise will be shut down in the same manner that 2K Sports ended College Hoops. In that case there was simply not enough potential sales to support two college basketball titles and it appears the same predicament is faced here with hockey. It could also see focus shift and the company develop solely for the Wii.

Overall it was a good month for the video game industry. Console sales were up due to the price drops and Madden 10 was a clear beneficiary of that.