As Patrick reported earlier, the $100 console price cuts issued in August by Microsoft and Sony clearly boosted hardware sales for the month. However, the cuts didn't boost game sales as much as many perhaps expected them too. It appears that no one is more aware of this fact than Electronic Arts, which released the latest installment in its cash-cow franchise, Madden, this past month, and saw a noticeable drop in sales over last year's installment.
Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello said in a company email that similar to the continued slowing of overall game sales, sales of the company’s Madden NFL 10 “are down with that trend,” Bloomberg reports. Riccitiello went on to say, “It is discouraging that one of our highest-rated and best-marketed Madden titles in years is facing strong headwinds.”
According to recently released NPD sales figures for August 2009, Madden sold 1.9 million units across five platforms in its first month, around 1.59 million of those for the Xbox 360 (928,000) and the PlayStation 3 (665,000). Certainly nothing to throw a challenge flag at, but considering that Madden NFL 09 sold 2.3 million units in its first month of sale last year, it’s easy to see why Riccitiello would be a bit frustrated.
Still, according to last year’s NPD data, Madden 09 on the 360 and PS3 sold a comparable amount (1.64 million) to this year. In fact, the biggest drops this year came from the PS2 and Wii versions, with PS2 sales dropping by almost 265,000 and Wii sales dropping well over 100,000. So it would seem that pointing the finger at the 360 and PS3 for dragging down Madden sales would be the wrong approach here, since those losses were far less than those seen on other platforms. I guess the bigger question here is: What games did Wii and PS2 owners buy this year instead of Madden?
How many of you bought Madden last year but haven't picked up Madden NFL 10?