Dark Souls III Leads The Pack During A Slow Month In April NPD Report

by Ben Reeves on May 12, 2016 at 01:33 PM

As everything quiets down for the road to E3, April is usually a quieter month for the gaming industry, and not even Dark Souls could save us from a dip in overall game sales.

Overall, hardware and software sales were down this April when compared to last year. Hardware sales dropped 23 percent since last year. In spite of this, both the Xbox One and PS4 are trending over 40 percent higher in overall sales compared to where the PS3 and Xbox 360 were at this point in their lifespan.

In terms of software, there weren’t too many high performing titles. A few exceptions are Ratchet & Clank and Dark Souls III, which were both the best launches for their respective series. Dark Souls III, in particular, sold nearly double what Dark Souls II did during launch. However, compared to April of 2015, this year just couldn’t compete. Mortal Kombat X, in particular, was such a strong selling title in April 2015 that its sales exceeded the sales of every game released in April of this year by 18 percent.

While overall numbers were down, Microsoft seems to have had a good month.

“Thanks to our fans, April 2016 was the best month in history for global engagement on Xbox One, driven by the greatest games lineup, including the critically-acclaimed Quantum Break, Dark Souls III, and Tom Clancy’s The Division,” says Microsoft’s corporate vice president of marketing Mike Nichols. “We received a strong response to the Gears of War 4 Versus Multiplayer Beta last month, which lasted two weeks and attracted more than 1.6 million unique players who helped us test and shape what is expected to be our biggest game of the year...We look forward to sharing more on our vision and plans for continuing to deliver the best gaming experience on Xbox One, Windows 10 and Xbox Live this year at E3 in June.”

Here is the full top ten software list for February 2016:

  1. Dark Souls III (PS4, XBO)
  2. Ratchet & Clank (PS4)
  3. MLB 16: The Show (PS4, PS3)
  4. The Division (PS4, XBO, PC)
  5. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC)
  6. Minecraft (XBO, 360, PS4, PS3)
  7. Quantum Break (XBO)
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (XBO, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
  9. NBA 2K16 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3)
  10. Star Fox Zero (Wii U)


Our Take
Slumps like this are not a big deal; they’re bound to happen and are nothing to worry about. Last April was fairly strong, so it’s not surprising that this year couldn’t compete, and hardware sales are strong overall. I’m also not surprised that Dark Souls III sold well, but I am happy to see Ratchet & Clank high on this list. I’m also glad that Quantum Break seems to be performing well. Finally, Grand Theft Auto V's staying power really speaks to the quality of Rockstar's work.