News Article

God of War: Ascension 'Significantly Underperformed' in March

Posted by Sammy Barker

Analysts stick the knife in Kratos' origin story

God of War: Ascension was a very good game, but there’s no denying that it suffered from a spot of franchise fatigue. Despite implementing multiplayer and refining some gameplay mechanics, it still offered a somewhat safe experience, and it looks like the brunt of that is set to be reflected in the title’s commercial performance.

In a report spotted by Games Industry.biz, analyst firm Cowen and Company predicts that the first-party prequel sold just 360,000 units during its first month on sale in North America – a huge decline compared to God of War III’s chart-topping 1.1 million units in March 2010. It added that despite high expectations, the “historically strong franchise appears to have significantly underperformed”.

In brighter news, the company continued that both Tomb Raider and BioShock Infinite are likely to have sold well, with the latter estimated to have shifted 665,000 units in just ten days. However, the organisation still expects console and handheld software sales to be down 21 per cent year-over-year in the next NPD report. Those new systems can’t come soon enough, can they?

[via gamesindustry.biz, vg247.com]

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User Comments (17)

rastamadeus

#1

rastamadeus said:

Still don't think the new consoles will sell well at all for the first year, maybe two. There's too many good games on the systems out now to judge spending God knows how much on a new PlayStation or Xbox.

get2sammybAdmin

#2

get2sammyb said:

@rastamadeus The problem is, though, people aren't really buying software on these systems. The money has to go somewhere — otherwise we may have to face that prospect that it's not going into the gaming industry anymore...

KALofKRYPTON

#4

KALofKRYPTON said:

Also, other than multiplayer, it really is just more of the same in the case of GoW, due to that, those just coming to the franchise can pick up the collections or GoW 3 for a tenner or less first.
There will be fewer and fewer disc releases for PS3 as time goes on. It's the twilight period-there are still gems of games to come, and the usual raft of yearly sports franchises and FPS- but I doubt much of anything else on disc.

Ginkgo

#5

Ginkgo said:

@rastamadeus : I agree with you. No new system has sold well in its first year for quite some time. Its the catch-22 where games sell systems, but developers cannot afford to write the games until there are enough users of the system to make it worthwhile. It takes time for the economies of scale to kick in. That is why a lot of games will be PS3 and PS4 compatible for some time (same with XBox)

As for the games industry as a whole, I really don't think that anyone has to worry. There have been lulls before and will be again:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_video_game_crash_of_1983

The industry will adapt and change and it may not look like it does now (the PS4 may even fail, though I don't think so). but the industry will survive and go through new boom times. People still like to game and new shiny toys.

Realistically, I think that the gaming industry became bloated after the boom, and is now growing up, realising that they need business models that work, rather than just good creative ideas that are expensive to make but don't sell. Someone will come up with the next greatest thing like the Wii (which is not the Wii-U) that will excite everyone again.

For GOW, I just think that it is a style of game and combat which has become outdated. Doesn't mean it is not a good game, just not the sort of game that people are wanting to play as much anymore.

rjejr

#6

rjejr said:

How many of those 1.1 million GoW3 purchases complained long and loud about the $60 game only being 6 hours long? How many of them were further annoyed when the game was continually on sale at Gamestop for $20 soon thereafter?

I'm not saying that accounts for all the drop, but it's probably a contributing factor. Well that and the heavy promotional emphasis on multiplayer I think turned off a few people. I know Ratchet and Clank didn't work quite as well as a multiplayer game.

One last thing, GOW3 also had a LOT more hype - and deservedly so - as the first GOW in HD after 1 and 2 were on the PS2. Some people probably just bought 3 b/c it looked so damn good. (I bought Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon just to show off my DVD player way back when.) If they jacked this up and waited for PS4 it might have done better due to improvements.

get2sammybAdmin

#7

get2sammyb said:

@rjejr The people that moaned about it being six hours are the reason that this game has ended up with multiplayer!

Gemuarto

#8

Gemuarto said:

I think Sony must stop practicing public betas =) Both GoW:A and PASBR sales suffred from betas.

Stuffgamer1

#10

Stuffgamer1 said:

Considering how jam-packed March was with game releases, it's no surprise that yet another God of War game would slip through the cracks. Everybody's money was simply tied up in other things they deemed more important...only reason I bought it was for the Collector's Edition stuff...love that Kratos figurine up on the shelf next to Nathan Drake and Cole MacGrath. :D

DVD_Sandwich

#13

DVD_Sandwich said:

I'm glad it didn't sell too well. Maybe they will stop milking the franchise and do something new.

BlueProxy

#14

BlueProxy said:

Possibly too soon after GOF 3, launch time frame with other big titles, and too much focus on multi-player when promoting it. GOF is primarily a story-driven, single player francise. Not saying multi-player is good or bad, just wasn't interested in it.

RaymanFan2

#15

RaymanFan2 said:

From the perspective of a guy with a lot of dudebro friends, the reason this isn't selling is because the cool kids only buy CoD, now. Back when GoWIII came out they played some other stuff because CoD wasn't quite so massive, but now they don't buy a single other game that's not an FPS.

Matrix01

#16

Matrix01 said:

That analyst got it WRONG! Why is every game site reporting on one morons clueless estimates as if they are facts?

According to a source from NeoGAF who has access to NPD figures (which only track US sales for those who don't know):

God of War: Ascension sold 570,000 units alone and 630,000 including sales from the God of War: Ascension Legacy Bundle. It was actually a HUGE success, the 3rd biggest release in the genre of all time. It sold that well with 'mixed reviews' (apparently an 80% average is mixed nowadays, everything should average over 85%) and horrendously poor marketing/advertising. That is a huge success.

630,000 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 360,000.

Maybe that analyst from Cowen and Company got the first two numbers mixed up? Or they just suck at their job. I think the latter is more accurate.

And to the idiots saying SSM need to work on something new, in the past few years they've worked on God of War III, God of War: Ascension, Journey, Flower, Starhawk, Twisted Metal, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and much more. In addition to that they also have a brand new AAA IP which will be built in-house for the PS4 whilst the GoW:A team work on something else. Get your facts right before making assumptions that they just work on God of War.

NAZA1999

#17

NAZA1999 said:

well i think kratos should have started where it ended but it was a good game online is crap for me thou

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