Two of the industry’s most popular franchises, Epic Games’ Gears of War and Sony Santa Monica’s God of War, found little success in the month of March. Both Judgment and Ascension are the fourth main-line games in their respective series, and according to Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz, their sales were well below what we’ve come to expect.
Prior to this week’s planned NPD release, GameIndustry has reported on an investor note that estimates the sales of Gears of War: Judgment at 425,000 units in the U.S. To put that into perspective, more than 2 million copies of Gears of War 3, which released back in September 2011, were pushed in the same span of time.
Numbers for God of War: Ascension only continue to tell the tale of franchise fatigue. Just 360,000 units found a home in March, compared to the strong 1.1 million that God of War 3 saw just three years ago. Both results were a surprise to Cowen & Company, which expected a strong month for the industry.
"We had expected sales trends to improve in March due to a strong core line-up," the company said. "Two historically strong franchises appear to have significantly underperformed."
Surprisingly, it’s the third-party games that seem to have come out on top. Square Enix’s reboot of Tomb Raider pushed 696,000 units in 33 days, and Take-Two's BioShock Infinite sold 665,000 copies in the short span of 10 days. However, Tomb Raider’s numbers aren’t enough for Square, as the company expected the game to blow up and sell 5 to 6 million copies.
The official NPD statistics will be available April 18.