Best-Selling PSN Games of March 2016

Originally published on Trevor Trove on April 12, 2016

Apparently, while I was blinded by the bright shiny lights of Stardew Valley last week, the PlayStation Blog announced the PSN’s top downloads of March. Curse you simple farm life, stealing me away from one of my other nerdy passions: analyzing sales charts! In February’s rundown, I said this:

March appears to be when 2016 really starts ramping up, with Mortal Kombat XL, the PlayStation 4 version of Heavy RainThe Division, and Hitman all likely break onto the PlayStation 4 list fairly high up. We shall see next month.

How did I do?

PlayStation 4

  • Well I got three out of four, right I guess.
  • As expected Tom Clancy’s The Division took the top spot. No big surprise there. I imagine it’ll top the NPD Sales charts for March, as well.
  • The Dark Souls-inspired Salt and Sanctuary came in at number two, most certainly benefitting from the Launch Party kickoff title as well as the excitement over Dark Souls III, which released today and will certainly make an appearance on the April list.
  • Rocket League continues to perform incredibly well on the network landing at number three nearly a year into its life cycle, bolstered by continued support from Psyonix and great word of mouth.
  • Minecraft holds on at number five surrounded by the latest iterations of MLB The Show (with only three days on PSN thanks to its March 29 release) and EA Sports UFC.
  • Hitman The Full Experience (the Intro chapter and Season Pass) lands at number seven, while the Hitman Intro Pack alone debuted further down the chart at 18. Can’t help but wonder if the fragmented/episodic release structure will help or hurt them in the long run. I imagine the fact that The Full Experience sold as well as it did will benefit Square Enix since they’ve got the money now, regardless of it people come back to the game as more content is released.
  • Far Cry Primal stays in the Top Ten at number eight, dropping from the number two spot last month. Last month’s number one Firewatch fell to 12 in March.
  • As expected the PS4 remaster of Heavy Rain cracks the list at number nine, followed by perennial contender Sword Art Online Re: Hollow Fragment at number ten.
  • My four prediction of Mortal Kombat XL barely squeaked into the top 20 at number 20. But the launch of this “ultimate” edition of Mortal Kombat X also moved a lot of DLC with multiple MKX(L) packs populating the Top Ten PS4 Add-ons lists.

PlayStation Vita/Classics

  • Late in the month stealth release XCOM: Enemy Unknown Plus made the Vita Top Ten list just ahead of Minecraft at number six.
  • Pretty much the rest of the Vita list is populated with a mix of the common culprits and games that were probably featured on sale last month.
  • On the Classics side of things, Bully and Manhunt – which also stealth released on March 22nd as PS2 Classics on PS4 – debuted at the top of the chart and number seven, respectively.
  • Apart from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on the list at number two, it would appear my suggestion from a few months ago that the Classics list would be predominantly PS2 Classics on PS4 has died down quite a bit, with the rest of the list being Classics sold on PS3 or PlayStation Vita.
  • Specifically, it would seem highly likely that Resident Evil and Fatal Frame benefited from sales. Resident Evil games and movies were on sale the first week of March during their weekly frachise-themed PSN sales. And the Fatal Frame games were all on sale for $0.99 during the “Deals from the Vault” Flash Sale during my birthday weekend (March 18-21).

So what do I expect from the April charts? As already mentioned above, Dark Souls III will inevitably fair well (if my Twitter feed from the last 24 hours is any indication). With more room to breath in April, MLB The Show 16 will continue to perform well. The great word of mouth and high-profile name of Ratchet and Clank will serve the reboot well. Enter the Gungeon and Alienation will probably do very well in the Launch Party promotion as it wraps up. Severed will hopefully take the top spot on the Vita chart when it releases later this month. Lastly, the Vita version of Axiom Verge might reinvigorate its sales next week.

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