EA finally gets the Wii, and not in a way that will excite hardcore gamers. Ghostbusters goes missing. PSP jumps. And more observations you can use at cocktail parties from today's June NPDs.
EA Nails The Wii, Thanks To Moms And Dads: EA has two Wii games placed powerfully in the top five best-selling games of June, a feat that I don't think any third-party publisher has accomplished since the Wii launched. And how did EA do it? Not with a game for teenage boys. Not with a first-person shooter. Not with an M-rated gorefest. But with EA Sports Active, a fitness game targeted at grown women, many of them likely to be moms. And they did it with Tiger Woods PGA 10, the definitive sports game for dads. That's the Wii audience for EA... all grown up!
Tiger Pulls A Guitar Hero: Also notable about the performance of Tiger Woods on the Wii is that the game charted for the Wii but not for any other platform. While Maddens and Call of Dutys are still series whose PS3/ Xbox360 versions handily outperform the Wii editions, Tiger performed more like a Guitar Hero game. The Guitar Heroes have been selling better on the Wii than on any other platform. That speaks to who has a Wii. It is also a likely a byproduct of the Wii Remote (with MotionPlus) being so well-associated by EA and gamers with the swing of a golf club. What's the next franchise that will see Wii out in front? [UPDATE: NPD Analyst Anita Frazier used the power of Twitter to inform me that the Wii version of Tiger was already out in front last year: "More than 1/2 Tiger Woods PGA Tour '09 sales and more than 40% of '08 were on Wii"]
Open Worlds Are Big — But Do People Think Of Them As Open Worlds?: It looked like Prototype, Infamous and Red Faction Guerilla, three open-world games released within weeks of each other, would cannibalize each other's sales. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn't. But none appears to have flopped, as versions of all three made the top 10. People like open-world an consume a lot of them, despite those games being among the longest games out there. Could the allure be that they give so much bang for their buck? Or is their open-worldness something most consumers don't notice? A genre connection that's invisible to those buying based on commercials and boxart?
Blasts From Pasts: Among the top 10 posts of June are only five games released in the new 35-day reporting period. That's the way it works these days: lots of games linger. This month's lingerers are the consistent strong sellers Mario Kart Wii, Wii Fit along with recent stars Infamous, UFC and EA Sports Active.
Notable new releases that failed to make the overall software top 10 (With no console or handheld version selling more than192,700 units in the U.S. by July 4): Rock Band Unplugged (June 9), Ghostbusters: The Video Game (June 16), Let's Tap (June 16), Guitar Hero Smash Hits (June 16), Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (PSP), Overlord II (June 23), The Conduit (June 23), Transformers Revenge of The Fallen (June 23), BlazBlue (June 30), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (June 30), Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (June 30)
June 2009 U.S. Video Game Hardware Sales - NPD-PD version
Daily averages based on the June NPD date range: 5/31/09-7/04/09
Nintendo DS - 21,900 units/day (down 725)
Wii - 10,334 units/day (down 5)
Xbox 360 - 6,874 units/day (up 624)
PS3 - 4,706 units/day (up 27)
PSP - 4,671 units/day (down 1,085)
PS2 - 4,363 units/day (up 184)