March 2016 NPD Sales Numbers

Originally published on Trevor Trove on April 16, 2016

NPD sales numbers for March have dropped. So far, my prediction that PlayStation will win every month of 2016 through October (until my other prediction that the NX comes out and wins November/December) is holding strong. As for my predictions for this month’s sales, here’s what I said.

The Division and it’s record-breaking launch for Ubisoft will almost certainly debut at #1. Mortal Kombat XL will probably also put in a strong showing unless too many people already bought the original game last year. I don’t see the starved Wii U audience caring about The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD enough to make the cut but I think Pokken Tournament will. And next week’s Hitman is episodic and digital only for the time being so it won’t chart here. And the last games I might consider would be Hyrule Warriors: Legends on 3DS and MLB The Show 16 on PlayStation but I think they are both too late in the month to compete.

And here’s how things actually shook out.

The Best-Selling Software of March 2016:

  1. Tom Clancy’s The Division (PS4, XBO, PC) – released Mar. 8
  2. Far Cry: Primal (PS4, XBO, PC) – was #1 in Feb
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (NWU) – released Mar. 4
  4. Grant Theft Auto V (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC) – appeared at #4 in July, then #6 in Dec, #2 in Jan, #3 in Feb
  5. UFC 2 (PS4, XBO) – released Mar 15
  6. MLB: The Show 16 (PS4, PS3) – released Mar 29
  7. Pokken Tournament (NWU) – Mar 18
  8. NBA 2K16 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3) – was #1 in Sept, #2 in Oct, #5 in Nov, #7 in Dec, #3 in Jan, #5 in Feb
  9. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (XBO, PS4, 360, PS3, PC) – was #1 in Nov, #1 in Dec, #1 in Jan, #2 in Feb
  10. Minecraft (360, XBO, PS4, PS3) – last appeared at #10 in Sept, #8 in Dec, #6 in Jan, #8 in Feb

So how did I do? A solid 4/7.

  • My first correct prediction: The Division (presumably) easily came in at number one with nearly the entire month to sell and record-breaking new IP launch sales.
  • Far Cry Primal fends off all other newcomers and stays at number two. As a late February release, that’s not terribly surprising.
  • My first big whiff: apparently the Wii U audience is that starved for content that they enough of them were willing to buy a nearly 10-year old game in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD. Shame they’ve been dragging their feet on the proper Wii U Zelda…
  • Mainstays Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, and Minecraft are still selling incredibly well. And since this is specifically physical sales, I would guess these are just some of the go-to titles people are picking up as they are finally deciding to jump onto a system. Thought the fact that Minecraft still sells best on the Xbox 360 suggests perhaps people that haven’t made the leap are just finally succumbing to the hype surround that title.
  • UFC has a larger audience than I anticipated. Even as one of EA’s less popular sports games, the fact that it debuted at number five suggests that EA is right to continue investing in these annualized sports titles.
  • While I thought it wouldn’t have enough time to chart with only three days in March, I did list MLB The Show 16 as an option so I’m counting it. Again, I drastically underestimate the power of a sports game. Which I should just stop doing since I’ve written about NBA 2K16 charting on here for seven months now.
  • As predicted, Pokken Tournament did indeed make the cut this month making March a rare month where three console exclusives crack the Top 10.
  • So despite Mortal Kombat X performing incredibly well last year, my guess that the Mortal Kombat XL deluxe edition of the game did not do as well and my thought that Hyrule Warriors on 3DS would make the list did not pan out. I’d like to think it’s because they apparently did a crappy job with how the game runs on the regular 3DS instead of the New 3DS but I’m almost certain that’s not the case.

So how’s April going to shape up?

  • I predict Quantum BreakRatchet and ClankStar Fox Zero will all debut on the April chart as the even more rare instance of a month where each of the big three have exclusives on the chart.
  • Additional, MLB The Show 16 (with a full month behind it and the power of a sports game) will hold strong on the list (meaning we’d actually have four exclusives if my calculations are correct).
  • Multi-platform title Dark Souls III will also perform well on the April charts. Because people are gluttons for punishment.
  • Given the relatively light time of year, I could even see Bravely Second on 3DS making its way on to the list.
  • I have no predictions for VR, but I’ll be absolutely curious to see if NPD even tracks Oculus or Vive sales as we move into this new era.

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