Monday, November 9, 2009

Madden's Magic Trick

While I was researching the NPD data for the last blog post, I was looking at NPD sales for Madden over the period of the last year.  I was looking mainly at the release month sales for the game, being NPD numbers for August of 2008 and August of 2009.

How do the NPD numbers compare for Madden's release in 2008, to Madden's release in 2009?  Let's take a look!

NPD Data:
August 2008 NPD Data for Madden NFL 09 console sales:
360 -  1,000,000
PS3 -  643,000
PS2 -  424,500
Wii  -  115,800
       = 2,183,300

August 2009 NPD Data for Madden NFL 10 console sales:
360 -   928,000
PS3 -   665,000
PS2 -   160,000
Wii  -    67,000
       = 1,820,000

Sales for Madden NFL 10 fell on every single console this year, EXCEPT the PS3.
The PS3 sold 22,000 more copies this year, than it did last year, a little more than a 3% increase in sales.
The Xbox360 saw Madden NFL 10's sales fall by 72,000 copies, 7.2%, from Madden NFL 09's sales.
The PS2 saw Madden NFL 10 sales drop by 264,500 copies, dropping a little more than 62%, making it the biggest loser in percentage of sales lost.
The Wii sold 48,800 fewer copies, with sales decreasing a little more than 42% year-over-year.

Madden NFL 10 sold 363,300 fewer copies, than Madden NFL 09 did it's release month.
Madden NFL 10's August release sales dropped nearly 17%, from last year's Madden NFL 09's August release NPD numbers.
The PS2's 264,500 fewer copies, accounts for almost 73% of the total sales lost, in August, for Madden NFL 10.

The title of the blog is "Madden's Magic Trick".  I named it that, because I think it's crazy how 363,300 buyers of the game seemingly vanished in one year. 
I would think Sony is happy on one hand, that the PS3 saw an increase in sales, but maybe baffled at the large drop in sales of the PS2 version.
If I was Microsoft, I would be a little concerned by the 7.2% decrease, especially when looking at September's sales for Madden, and knowing how much of a drop off happened from August sales to September sales.
If I was Nintendo, I would look at the sales of Madden this year, and see a HUGE opportunity for a Nintendo Wii football game of some sort.
If I was EA, I probably wouldn't develop/publish Madden on the Wii anymore.

Do you think EA will release another Madden on the Wii, or will Madden NFL 10 be the last version on the Wii?
Did you purchase any version of Madden this year?  If so, leave a comment and let me know what you think of the game!  I'd love to hear your thoughts on how Madden NFL 10's sales were down nearly 17%, and if you're surprised by that, or if this is what you've been expecting to happen to the Madden series.

*Numbers in article are comparison of first month sales NPD data.
Madden NFL 09 was released on August 12, 2008.
Madden NFL 10 was released on August 14, 2009.


  1. Considering EA's financial troubles, there is a good chance that development on the Wii could dry up from the mega-publisher (well, beyond throwaway "Charm Girls" titles).

    Mr. Riccitiello, CEO of EA, made note of how the company is failing to capitalize on the Wii market after brashly assuring that EA would have 10 Wii hits this year (they are at about 3 or 4 ... ?). I guess this is what happens when you offer a rail-shooter instead of a third-person action title.

    And to be fair, new IPs on the HD twins have not been fantastic sellers either, and as a result the company appears to be getting ready to focus on franchises, old IPs and sequels (Medal of Honor, Need for Speed, etc.).

    Turning this comment back onto the topic of Madden, one should be careful about denoting titles as failures. Calling out games that are perceived to have "bombed" is a nasty habit of the media when, in some cases, they are merely slow burners (not accusing you; rather, that is merely a broad view of news outlets).

    Past Madden iterations on the Wii have shown to be slow, yet steady, sellers. Unfortunately, data beyond the opening month of sales is difficult to come by. Considering that Madden as a whole has not sold spectacularly, perhaps the economy put the hurt on the type of Madden fan who likes to flirt with the franchise. I think that, at least, explains what happened to the PS2 version.

  2. @G-Man:
    Thanks for the comments! Greatly appreciated and I agree with some of what you said.

    I think EA found the right "marketing strategy" when they released EA Sports Active on the Wii. Wii Fit was already extremely popular, and EA built a software with peripherals(leg strap, and elastic bands) and advertised the game towards the right market.

    I just found it very interesting how there were so many PS2 sales on a "year-over-year" basis that seemed to vanish.

    Thanks again for the comments, I hope you enjoy what you read here!

  3. In addition to the success of EA Sports Active, Tiger Woods 10 on the Wii was the best selling SKU upon release primarily due to the MotionPlus peripheral.

    I wish there was more data available so as to determine the fate of Grand Slam Tennis, Boom Blox 2, and even Dead Space: Extraction. :/

  4. I agree, other than the NPD and VGChartz(which people say they just guess), is the only other place I know to try and see how a game is selling, though doesn't show "numbers sold", just the current rank of the game.


Keep the comments clean. Rated "E" for Everyone. :)


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