Analysis: May 2009 NPD Software Sales -- UFC Dominates, But Where's Punch-Out!!?


Posted June 11, 2009 - By pklepek

THQ has a new hit on their hands. The company correctly gambled on the growing popularity of Ultimate Fighting Championship, as UFC 2009: Undisputed was the biggest selling game this past May, according to sales data released by the NPD Group today. UFC 2009: Undisputed, released May 19, sold a solid 1.01 million copies (679,600 on Xbox 360, 334,400 on PlayStation 3) by the time May finished out.

The industry as a whole, however, was down (check out Raymond Padilla's look at how this affects hardware) . "The video games industry continues to struggle with difficult comparisons to last year," commented NPD anaylst Anita Frazier in the NPD release. "This is the first month that industry sales have dipped below $1B since August 2007.  May is typically one of the lowest revenue-generating months in any given year for the industry in general."

1. 360 UFC 2009: Undisputed, THQ, 679K
2. Wii Wii Fit w/ balance board, Nintendo, 352K
3. Wii EA Sports Active bundle, Electronic Arts, 345K
4. PS3 UFC 2009: Undisputed, THQ, 334K
5. PS3 inFamous, Sony, 175K

The biggest surprises? Punch-Out!! debuted at the number eight spot, selling just 156,900 copies after its May 18 release date. The other major exclusive this month, the PlayStation 3-only inFamous, performed better, moving 175,900 copies, despite being released at the very end of the month, May 26. It'll be interesting to see how Prototype, Activision's similar-looking open-world hero game, affects its sales.

As for the rest of the sales...

6. DS Pokemon Platinum, Nintendo, 168K
7. Wii Mario Kart Wii w/ wheel, Nintendo, 158K
8. Wii Punch-Out!!, Nintendo, 156K
9. 360 X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Activision Blizzard, 120K
10. Wii Wii Play w/ remote, Nintendo, 109K

Again, I really expected Punch-Out!! to do better this month. Considering the sales love Capcom saw for Street Fighter IV, it seemed like nostalgia would have pushed Punch-Out!! over the top, too. Unless Punch-Out!! is a consistent new seller, ala Mario Kart Wii, however, it looks like nostalgia wasn't enough.

Perhaps more surprising, however, is X-Men Origins: Wolverine's performance. Even though the movie was almost universally disliked, the game resonated with the God of War crowd. Maybe they're all waiting for God of War III.

Your thoughts?

Analysis: May 2009 NPD Software Sales -- UFC Dominates, But Where's Punch-Out!!?


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