March 2013 NPD: BioShock Infinite takes top spot in crowded month

BioShock Infinite took the top position on the NPD charts. The rebooted Tomb Raider took the second place position. According to NPD Group industry analyst Liam Callahan, the two games had "the highest first month sales for games in these franchises."

The two console-exclusive "of War" prequels took the next positions, even if sales are lower than usual for both franchises.

The critically-panned Walking Dead: Survival Instinct from Activision also topped the charts, proving that well-timed licensed software can still push units, regardless of quality.

One of the big losers this month: Electronic Arts, a company that dropped their CEO due to poor financial results. Surprisingly, last month's big winner, Dead Space 3, completely dropped off the charts, which doesn't bode well for the lifetime sales of EA's survival horror franchise. Crysis 3, another EA-published game, also dropped off the list. EA's SimCity reboot didn't chart either. It's not entirely surprising, considering the mostly-digital sales of the game--but Diablo 3's retail success suggests that PC games can top NPD charts if popular enough.

In hardware, Xbox 360 is the top-selling console of the month again, selling 261K units. Nintendo 3DS continues to improve as well, with sales up 8% over March 2012 sales. "With solid performances of new games like Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity, and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, 3DS software sales increased over 50% from last March," Callahan pointed out. (And Nintendo does pretty well in digital, as well.)

Here's the chart:

    Top 10 Games (New Physical Retail only; new releases bolded)

  • BioShock Infinite (360, PS3, PC)
  • Tomb Raider (360, PS3, PC)
  • Gears of War: Judgment (360)
  • God of War: Ascension (PS3)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
  • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)
  • MLB 13: The Show (PS3, Vita)
  • NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC)
  • The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct (360, PS3, PC)
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 (360, PS3)

Once again, be mindful that "these sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50 percent of the total consumer spend on games."

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