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Default ME3 sales in US hit 1.3 million in lauch month

April 15th, 2012, 23:32
Spotted this bit of news over at GB and figured I post it up here for discussion…

http://www.joystiq.com/2012/04/13/ma…-launch-month/

Total Mass Effect 3 sales for its launch month of March were 1.3 million units across Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, the NPD informed Joystiq. The number covers purely new physical retail sales, so no digitally distributed product on PC or PS3 is tallied.

Although the NPD doesn't publicly share sales breakdowns by platform, Microsoft executive Aaron Greenberg did share that Xbox 360 sales for the space opera were 943K units for the month.

Mass Effect 2 had over a half-million sales on Xbox 360 during its debut month, with another quarter million the following month. We've contacted Electronic Arts for further clarification on Mass Effect 3 sales data.

Update: "We think the monthly NPD reports are a very poor indicator of the industry's performance given the proportion of digital sales – including digital downloads via Origin, DLC, mobile and social games and much more – that are not captured in their reports," John Reseburg of EA's corporate communications told Joystiq. "Taking these reports as an accurate snapshot of the industry today is a dangerous assumption."
I have no clue what to make of those numbers - good, bad or mediocre? I have to wonder though, given the number of available shooters, do sales take a nose dive after the first couple of months(ignoring CoD)? Which brings me to the question I would really like to ask - do RPGs have a longer shelf life(IE compared to shooters, where there may be less sales up front but a higher avg # of sales as time progresses)?
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April 15th, 2012, 23:49
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
I have no clue what to make of those numbers - good, bad or mediocre?
Just start thinking as EA.

This means potential 1.3*10$=13$ million for DLC with some fancylookingarmor that costs 10$ and was supposed to be in the game when it was released.

Ok not everyone will buy that armor… But let's say only 10% of players buy it, it's still more than a million for no work at all and no additional investments.
Yummy!!!
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April 16th, 2012, 01:07
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
I have no clue what to make of those numbers - good, bad or mediocre?
As joxer already posted, these numbers are excellent for the Mass Effect franchise. It's 100% clear more games will follow. Maybe even a whole new trilogy.

Which brings me to the question I would really like to ask - do RPGs have a longer shelf life(IE compared to shooters, where there may be less sales up front but a higher avg # of sales as time progresses)?
I think RPGs which can be considered (relative) hits have an incredibly long shelf life. Same for successful adventure games in the adventure paradise (aka Germany). Flops sink to 10$ quickly and then go down slowly, disappear from retail but are sold for 2.49$ digitally forever.
AAA RPGs get marked down to mid price rather quickly though. Examples: Everything from Bethesda since F3, Dragon Age series. Probably because they need to move millions of units quickly. Then the price sinks slowly, DLC gets released, new more complete retail versions follow. The latter is a good excuse to raise the price back to mid price niveau, followed by discounts, new editions with some gimmicks produced for marketing purposes years ago (price up again!) … for as long as there is demand above 10$/€. Even at the 10€ budget price they'll play the same game. First the vanilla game, then a DLC pack, then a GOTY Edition.
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April 16th, 2012, 01:27
It all depends on how many bought the game and the dlc. Add into it how much it cost to make then there is your answer.

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April 16th, 2012, 01:48
I think features like multiplayer or modding tools significantly extend the shelf life of any game, especially as we can see Bioware has been updating the MP with new maps, etc.
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April 18th, 2012, 10:00
I already talked about this in another section but I'll post my thoughts here as well. This has to be good news for Bioware and EA, just think firstly these are only NA figures and doesn't include digital purchases. So you're looking at 2 million sales worldwide easy. Then consider that video gaming is in a slump (because of the recession). Then consider that ME2 sold 500 000 copies in NA for the first month (so ME3 probably outsold it 3:1 overall) and I can't see how you could paint this negatively at all.

This makes me smile because I love the Mass Effect series. I think it encourages an evolution of sorts in the shooter genre.
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April 18th, 2012, 13:24
Well they shipped 3.5 million so that's probably what their expectations were.

It's hard to get good ME2 sales data, but so far DA:O is still their best selling game (somewhere north of 3.5m). ME1 and ME2 combined beat that (north of 5m).

It's no secret that they were gunning for the core FPS audience which can pull in 8m in the first 24hours. Before the DA2 fiasco, Zeschuk openly stated this goal "Well, we need to sell 10 million units. That's actually the new target, right? We do Top 10 games, our stuff is quite successful."

Also given the efforts to go from hard(ish) sci-fi to ultra-soft space fantasy, and the move from clunky shooter / RPG hybrid, to fine shooter with RPG-lite elements, I guess they were hoping for some more of cod pie (ie very significantly higher sales than ME2).

As to the future - I think they've pretty much lost their core RPG customer base, picking up some casuals along the way. ME4 will need to stand on its own merits, and I'd expect pre-orders to be low (no more reluctant customers just wanting to wrap up "their Shepard's" story). Bio have just bungled too many things on their way down to the mainstream.
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April 18th, 2012, 13:50
Originally Posted by Gaxkang View Post
Also given the efforts to go from hard(ish) sci-fi to ultra-soft space fantasy, and the move from clunky shooter / RPG hybrid, to fine shooter with RPG-lite elements, I guess they were hoping for some more of cod pie (ie very significantly higher sales than ME2).
ME3 had more rpg elements than ME2, which I doubt they would have included if they wanted to improve on ME2 sales by acquiring more of the COD pie. I think ME2 was about as lite as you could go rpg wise without being classified as a straight out shooter. There was actually a pretty big backlash over it (but not nearly as big a backlash as the recent uproar over the game's ending. Good to know where people's prioriy's lie ) so Bioware added some stuff back in.

Originally Posted by Gaxkang View Post
As to the future - I think they've pretty much lost their core RPG customer base, picking up some casuals along the way.
Nah, not really. Bioware's core fanbase pretty much knows Bioware's mantra about deivering good storytelling gameplay with meaningful choices (Bioware's version of an rpg, which is why their core fanbase don't mind Jade Empire, despite it being a staight action game… almost) which ME3 delivered on except for the ending. The fanbase is much more upset with Bioware over Dragon Age 2 (no choices whatsoever, no epicness, poorly executed wave combat, gimped inventory system etc etc) than they are over Mass Effect 3.
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April 18th, 2012, 15:04
drae - I meant that ME had gone from shooter-RPG hybrid to shooter-with-RPG-bits-here-and-there over the course of the series. ME2 was indeed already 'just' a shooter with dialog. I reckon people bought ME3 on strength of the lore, exploration and story in ME1 combined with the characters and shooting of ME2. I don't think we got a combination of those 2 strength sets in ME3, despite weapon customization.

I think BioWare's had 3 core groups that made up the 3 million or so it maxes out at. Group 1 - the 'tell me a story' people, group 2 - the 'give me stats, goblins and dice' crowd and group 3 - 'get the release of the month if its good' people. Group 1 has been decimated by the pointless ending to ME3 and group 2 was gone after DA2. ME4 or ME MMO, or ME the RTS will have very little brand-driven goodwill pre-orders, I think.
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April 18th, 2012, 15:53
Originally Posted by Gaxkang View Post
Group 1 - the 'tell me a story' people, group 2 - the 'give me stats, goblins and dice' crowd and group 3 - 'get the release of the month if its good' people. Group 1 has been decimated by the pointless ending to ME3 and group 2 was gone after DA2.
I love your descriptions, stats goblins and dice people

I think you're overstating the issue with ME3 and underestimating the maturity of Bioware's core fanbase, it was a poor ending yes but core fans aren't going to up and leave in droves over something so minor. It's like books or tv series, you don't stop supporting an author because you don't like the ending to a book (Matthew Reilly, for example, got a large amount of hate mail when he killed off a character in one of his novels yet they still turned up and bought his next book). Up until the final 10 minutes of the game, it was the most impressive piece of storytelling Bioware has produced to date, and to be quite frank, it's most definately not the first time Bioware has pulled off a poor ending. I think Bioware fans are used to it by now. KOTOR 'paragon' ending was bad, DA:O ending was bad, they have a history of it. Endings are not one of their strong points

To be perfcectly frank there is a lot less wrong with ME3 than there was with ME1 (which was a POS at times.) Broken economy and loot system, more reused dungeons levels than Dragon Age 2, performance issues when you hit the built up areas, the effing Mako, crappy combat, it wasn't a good game. Mass Effect 3 is a far better game than ME1 was, even though it's less of an rpg.

As for the stat goblin and dice people, they've been continuously disappointed in Bioware since BG2 and NWN but they're still around, if they were going to leave they would have left years before DA:O was released. Dragon Age Origins was an extremely pleasant surprise for them, but let's just say they were disappointed in KOTOR, then more disappointed in Jade Empire, even more disappointed in Mass Effect, very annoyed at Sonic but they were still around to be pleasantly surprised when DA:O came out. They're still around pushing hard to get their voices heard for when Dragon Age 3 is developed. The Dragon Age team has lost some talent since origins, it will be interesting to see what they produce for number 3.
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April 18th, 2012, 16:34
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
As joxer already posted, these numbers are excellent for the Mass Effect franchise. It's 100% clear more games will follow. Maybe even a whole new trilogy.
Normally, I would agree… However, I'm not entirely sold those numbers are that good when put into proper context. I believe EA/BW spent more(much more) money on advertising for ME3 than either of the previous installations.

As for a new trilogy in the setting, I'm not sure. Ignoring the people who were put off to the franchise by the ending, everything I've read of the endings indicates that mass relays are destroyed regardless… Also, with 3 very different choices/outcomes which becomes canon? Or maybe the indoctrination theory will be their canon choice which should allow them to whitewash over and correct any/all endings? Not sure as I haven't played/seen them myself(just read a few articles/forum posts when I realized I lacked the will/desire to play ME3 from start to finish)

Originally Posted by Gorath
I think RPGs which can be considered (relative) hits have an incredibly long shelf life. Same for successful adventure games in the adventure paradise (aka Germany). Flops sink to 10$ quickly and then go down slowly, disappear from retail but are sold for 2.49$ digitally forever.
AAA RPGs get marked down to mid price rather quickly though. Examples: Everything from Bethesda since F3, Dragon Age series. Probably because they need to move millions of units quickly. Then the price sinks slowly, DLC gets released, new more complete retail versions follow. The latter is a good excuse to raise the price back to mid price niveau, followed by discounts, new editions with some gimmicks produced for marketing purposes years ago (price up again!) … for as long as there is demand above 10$/€. Even at the 10€ budget price they'll play the same game. First the vanilla game, then a DLC pack, then a GOTY Edition.
^ I agree… I also have no problem with an EOL cycle ultimate edition that includes all dlc and/or expansions for close to the original MSRP. Though BW/EA seem to be getting away from that, as I don't recall ever seeing a ME2 game edition with all the dlc bundled(correct me if I'm wrong).

The other recent phenomena that has me a bit perplexed is Bethesda's handling of Skyrim DLC… I was under the impression that the faster one get's DLC to market the larger and hungrier that market is. I wonder if Skyrim's success caught Bethesda off guard and they decided to go full expansion or significantly increase the size of their upcoming DLCs?

Originally Posted by drae
To be perfcectly frank there is a lot less wrong with ME3 than there was with ME1 (which was a POS at times.) Broken economy and loot system, more reused dungeons levels than Dragon Age 2, performance issues when you hit the built up areas, the effing Mako, crappy combat, it wasn't a good game. Mass Effect 3 is a far better game than ME1 was, even though it's less of an rpg.
And to be perfectly frank, opinions are a lot like (fill in blank) everyone's got one… In some ways ME2+3 were better - but not from a narrative, sci-fi or RPG perspective. As for being a better game, that is up for interpretation.
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April 18th, 2012, 17:48
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
And to be perfectly frank, opinions are a lot like (fill in blank) everyone's got one… In some ways ME2+3 were better - but not from a narrative, sci-fi or RPG perspective. As for being a better game, that is up for interpretation.
Personally, I thought Mass Effect and Mass Effect 3 were about equals, though they were radically different games. I see where drae is coming from. Mass Effect 3 was certainly the most polished of the three games. It also did a very good job of combining much of what was good in Mass Effect with what was good in Mass Effect 2. There were a lot more RPG elements in Mass Effect 3 than in the second installment (and handled better than many in the first). However, while in Mass Effect 3 you saw a lot of the effects of decisions that you had made in the previous installments, I didn't get a sense that I was impacting the events within the game as much. To be sure, there were certain elements that were resolved by your decisions, such as how the war with the Geth and Quarians was resolved, but overall, you were a bit more limited in choice and dialog.

I don't see this as being as bad as some others though, a lot of work went into telling the story based on many of the different decisions that you already had made, and I commend them for putting something coherent together (nevermind debating about the ending), despite the many combinations of possibilities. If it wasn't for you having a greater degree of C&C within the game and my slight preference for the narrative of the original, I would say that Mass Effect 3 is the best of the series. In comparison, Mass Effect 2 was the worst in my opinion, yet it is the one that garnered the highest reviews and average "user scores" on websites.
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April 18th, 2012, 18:12
Originally Posted by drae View Post
DA:O ending was bad, they have a history of it.
Not sure why you dislike the DA:O ending. Ultimate Sacrifice vs Old God Baby, coronation options, farewell to companions twice (before siege and at coronation), epilogue slides showing what the impact of your decision was … and the promise of more consequences playing out in DA2. Even the credits music changed depending on how you decided to end.

Originally Posted by drae View Post
As for the stat goblin and dice people, they've been continuously disappointed in Bioware since BG2 and NWN but they're still around, if they were going to leave they would have left years before DA:O was released.
Yes they've been grumbling since KOTOR, but after DA2 they've just gone wild with hate, mockery and contempt. This is a subtle difference. I also think we're talking large numbers here. DA2 DLC cancelled, BSN a ghost town (compare to DA:O), devs at PAX complaining that the internet is a grim place (etc etc not to belabor an obvious point too much).
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April 18th, 2012, 18:52
Wow lots of opinion being stated as fact in this thread

I played all the ME games back to back. Tend to agree ME2 had the least RPG factors but stil liked it. I liked ME3 more … Because it went somewhat back towards ME1 in key areas.. Which should indicate my opinion on ME1.

As for DAO … Totally disagree, as I thought DAO really did things right for the ending. Have had numerous chats with ME3 players who wished ME3 could have had things more like DAO. I never had any issue with Kotor myself.

Not sure I would consider ME fans mature … But I do agree it probably won't make much difference. People will still buy the games.

In regards to mass relays … Bio ware indicated people misinterpreted that:

Spoiler

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April 18th, 2012, 19:11
Looks very good. Physical sales. Digital sales are expected to be more, the double or the triple.
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April 18th, 2012, 20:03
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Looks very good. Physical sales. Digital sales are expected to be more, the double or the triple.
Maybe for PC sales…but the 1.3 million includes consoles, which would make up probably at least 85% of the total sales (just a guess).

EDIT: It says 943,000 of them were 360 sales, probably at least 200-250,000 PS3. Maybe 150,000 for PC (meaning 200,000 more digital perhaps…is it possible PC could have outsold PS3 overall?? The original ME did not come out on PS3, which could be a factor on a game that emphasizes save game imports).
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April 18th, 2012, 20:25
Originally Posted by rossrjensen View Post
Maybe for PC sales…but the 1.3 million includes consoles, which would make up probably at least 85% of the total sales (just a guess).

EDIT: It says 943,000 of them were 360 sales, probably at least 200-250,000 PS3. Maybe 150,000 for PC (meaning 200,000 more digital perhaps…is it possible PC could have outsold PS3 overall?? The original ME did not come out on PS3, which could be a factor on a game that emphasizes save game imports).
Well, the multiplayer leaderboards have about 384,000 players listed globally (of which only 23,000 are from the UK). I don't know if that includes everyone who bought it on PC, or if that's just the number who have logged in to MP at least once.
Last edited by DPB; April 18th, 2012 at 21:01.
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April 18th, 2012, 22:20
Originally Posted by Gaxkang View Post
It's hard to get good ME2 sales data
1.6 million copies sold through all formats inc digital in 3 months.

"Mass Effect 2 – sold through over 1.6 million packaged and digital units in the
quarter for Europe and North America combined
"- direct from EA's quarterly report. That figure is all format and includes DD, so it's pretty safe to say that ME3 is past the quarterly figure for ME2 in a third the time.
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April 18th, 2012, 23:45
Originally Posted by Zygo View Post
That figure is all format and includes DD, so it's pretty safe to say that ME3 is past the quarterly figure for ME2 in a third the time.
Thanks - good find. Are you sure about the "in a third the time" bit, though? Maybe ME2 also started off with a burst.
Also, ME2 was missing PS3 at launch.
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April 19th, 2012, 02:44
Originally Posted by drae View Post
DA:O ending was bad, they have a history of it. Endings are not one of their strong points
I actually liked DA:O ending. They are much better than most of Bioware games for sure. I just didn't like how they ignored most of those endings in DA2.

To be perfcectly frank there is a lot less wrong with ME3 than there was with ME1 (which was a POS at times.)
To be fair, ME1 has its issues but that's because it's first installment of the series. I think in general, people would expect sequel should be better since they would have learnt something from older installment. I haven't played ME3 so I can't comment on it personally, but maybe people felt that ME3 didn't have much improvements compared to 2 previous games?

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