NBA 2K10 Triumphs With October Sales

Posted November 12th, 2009 at 5:14 pm


The official sales numbers for October were released by NPD earlier today offering the first chance to gauge the success of the NBA games that were released early in the month. As fully expected NBA 2K10 dominated though with a larger year over year increase than would have been anticipated.

Last year NBA 2K9 released and pulled in 202K on the 360 while finishing in 17th on the PS3 with approximately 110K. NBA Live 09 did not make the top 20 with either version with estimates of about 90K on the 360 and 60K on the PS3 .

NBA 2K10 sold 311K on the 360 and 213K on the PS3 in October. That represents gains of 54% and 93% respectfully. Those are huge numbers especially after making a similar jump the previous year.

For comparisons sake 2K Sports’ other major title MLB 2K9 dropped this year by 14% on the 360 alone which is even more stunning because of the console exclusivity it holds. Arguably that series has taken the most criticism for its quality and has the best competition though only facing that from the PS3 side. It just goes to show how the NBA 2K series is literally carrying the label right now on its own.

With the myriad of problems that have plagued 2K10 and the reaction from consumers the sales could be greatly impacted next year. The numbers aren’t going to take much of a hit in the current year though. The real sense of what it all means won’t come until 2K11 faces Live 11 where consumers could decide to make the switch either because of Live’s improvements or frustration over 2K’s struggles. A big shift was seen in the same mold with MLB 2K9 dropping after a poor 2K8 effort and subsequently MLB 09 The Show rising by over 37%.

As to NBA Live 10 we’ll have to wait, probably until tomorrow, for the list that includes the Top 20. It is possible the 360 version snuck in. The news is certainly discouraging though, and with Electronic Arts chopping the bottom third of games based on potential profitability the NBA Live franchise could be in some danger. If not this year than it very well could be a make-or-break year upcoming.

FIFA 10 actually made the Top 10 which is a huge accomplishment for a soccer game in the US. The game may be the highest selling worldwide but has never made much of an impact domestically. Last year it settled in at 19th on the 360 and this year came in 10th selling 156K. That can put the state of NBA Live in even better perspective though as it is even getting outsold by FIFA by a large margin.

As discussed at length in the September Sales Analysis article Madden 10 has been doing relatively well. The opening month was down 3% but good word of mouth and the boost from new console sales have offered a lift. EA has stated it is now up 5% in sales compared to last year. While that is encouraging it doesn’t even factor in the money made from downloadable content or off used sales where features like Online Franchise have to be paid for separately. Madden could see another uptick based on holiday sales and by introducing a brand new mode (Madden Ultimate Team) in early January.