Sale of Gears Of War 2 could eclipse old sales record.by TWODOGSz
©2008 Aaron Bertinetti:Ed Note: This is the second in a series of articles by our writer looking at the monthly "predictions" of sales of games based on his own methodology. We will bring you many new and upcoming games Predictions based on a projected One Months sales. We hope that this will garner discussion and debate within the community and hopefully have an effect on peoples perception of the games that are heading our way, or that have recently been released. You will also find some current Video's on Gears Of War 2, plus the recent Tech Demo of the Unreal Engine 3, and some earlier demos of what the Engine can do, and what to expect in future games powered by the Unreal Engine 3 (3.5) - enjoy. Anyhow, enough of my drivel, please continue on and enjoy TWODGSz's interesting Predictions for Gears Of War 2. ```The release of GTAIV broke software sales worldwide but it also illustrated a key issue with multiplatform titles. Whilst they may sell more as a whole, console specific attach rates are less compared to the potential of a title if console exclusive. It also makes predicting multiplatform sales relatively difficult. Thankfully in Part Two I'll be looking at Gears of War 2, Microsoft's biggest exclusive title for the Xbox360 this year, which will be released November 2008. ```All the following figures are based on tracking data sourced from VGChartz and rounded to a single decimal.
Part TwoGears of War was released early on in the life of the Xbox360 during mid November of 2006, a full ten and half months earlier than Halo 3 and to a much smaller console install base of 5.3m that rose to a modest 8.3m ten weeks later. Currently there have been 5.2m sales of Gears of War. 0.9m came in week one, 0.5m in week two (56% drop), 0.4m in week three (20% drop), 0.3m in week four (25% drop) and a lesser sales erosion to a steady 0.21m average over the next six weeks. Sales were much steadier over the medium term compared to Halo3 which saw a week two erosion of 80% to Gears relatively small 56%. What this tells us is that Gears was fuelled largely by a post release marketing campaign and word of mouth. Gears of War's ten week console attach rate was 40.1%, the same as Halo 3. More "predictions" after the jump:
Currently there are approximately 18.9m consoles worldwide. Based on current trends we can confidently assume there will be 22.6m consoles by mid November and ten weeks later 24m consoles. However, it’s important to note that there are four key factors over the coming months that may significantly change these console predictions and hence sales forecasts. In a later article I will explain the importance of relative prices, BluRay, “Newton”, and economic growth to the expansion of the Xbox 360’s console base over the following six months and beyond.
But for now let’s just assume a 24m console base, ten weeks after the release of Gears of War 2 in mid November 2008.
Here’s where it gets interesting…
Currently there are little in the way of analyst predictions but simExchange, which is a common source for Wall Street and the financial press, is currently forecasting approximately 8.1m lifetime sales of Gears of War 2.
Many people argue that Gears of War 2 is a less mainstream game than Halo 3. The logic is that because of its more mature content its appeal is limited and Microsoft’s ability to market it in a Halo 3 fashion is markedly reduced. Personally I think Marcus Fenix would be more likely to curb stomp a Spartan-green can of Mountain Dew before he ever appeared on it!
Regardless, under such reasoning if we take the original Gears of War sales experience and apply the relevant attach rate of 40.1% we see approximately 10m copies of Gears of War 2 being sold within ten weeks, of which 3.8m will come in first week sales and 7.3m within the first month.
As a result, Gears of War 2 would resoundingly beat the Halo 3 sales records of 5.1m in the first month by about 2.2m copies and would also become Microsoft’s highest selling exclusive title by the end of January 2009.
However, others would argue that Gears of War 2 could very well be this year’s Halo 3 and as a result will follow a similar sales pattern. The argument is that despite its more mature audience it maintains a strong and growing mainstream presence, a large fan base beyond 5m gamers and Microsoft have already indicated it will be at the forefront of its marketing muscle come Christmas 2008 (REM songs and all!).
If Gears of War 2 is a blockbuster and behaves similarly to Halo 3 it will still sell 10m copies but 7.3m copies will come in the first week alone, and 9.3m within the first month! This would be more than an 80% increase on Halo 3’s first month sales record.
As much as I’d like to believe Gears of War 2 has the same mainstream appeal as Halo 3, I just can’t picture mums and dads en masse buying the bloody sequel to put under the Christmas tree. I’m quite happy to believe Gears of War 2 has the potential to sell 10m copies, but given its pre Christmas release and that other titles to release in this period like Fable 2 are more family friendly, I have trouble seeing those huge week one numbers coming to pass.
My prediction is that Gears of War 2 will sell 10m copies within ten weeks of release, of which 3.8m will be in the first week and 7.3m within the first month. Gears of War 2 will not only topple Halo 3’s first month and ten week sales records but it appears likely that it will also beat Halo 3’s opening week sales record.
I’ll also predict Gears of War 2 will certainly be “bigger, better and more badass” than the original, but that come November I may well be sick of hearing that phrase even if it’s completely and utterly true.
Now if only November would hurry up and get here!
In Part One of this series I looked at the sales predictions for Grand Theft Auto IV. Based on the methodology I predicted 13million sales across both platforms in the first month. And whilst this forecast has proven far more accurate than the majority of industry analysts it wasn’t as close as I would’ve liked.
My private forecasts based on different time periods to those published also proved to be far more accurate. As a result I’ve changed the methodology and the format of the forecasts as a result. Going forward in this series I will continue to forecast one month sales, and for a bit of fun the opening week sales, but the focus will now be on the far less variable 10 week forecast.
©2008 Aaron Bertinetti:
Cliff Bleszinski discusses GoW2 & Demo Vids of Unreal Engine’s Latest Demos Vid at GDC ’08 & E3 ’07