What a difference a month makes. The gaming industry is the fastest growing industry on the planet, with more people playing games than ever before. With so many people playing games, there's many different tastes to account for, so from one month to the next, the complexion of the best-selling games can look entirely different.
This is the case when comparing March's best-selling games to February's. The top three best-selling games of that month (The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D, Evolve, and Dying Light respectively) don't even rank on March's list. In fact, only four games from that month's top selling titles even make an appearance in this list, and they are the blockbuster juggernauts of Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Minecraft, and NBA 2K15.
Check out where those games and others rank on the list of top selling games of March:
1. Battlefield Hardline (PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)2. Bloodborne (PS4)3. Grand Theft Auto V (PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)4. Mario Party 10 (Wii U)5. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)6. MLB 15: The Show (PS3, PS4)7. Minecraft (PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)8. NBA 2K15 (PC, PS3, PS4, X360, XBO)9. Borderlands: The Handsome Collection (PS4, XBO)10. Final Fantasy: Type-0 HD (PS4, XBO)
Even though Battlefield Hardline is multi-platform, so it reaches a wider audience, it is still somewhat surprising that the game beat Bloodborne in sales for March. Bloodborne was far more of a critical success, and it out-sold Battlefield Hardline on the PlayStation Store at least, surpassing 1 million units sold worldwide. For a new IP from a developer (From Software) notorious for extremely difficult games that's a major accomplishment, and speaks volumes about the power of Sony's platform exclusives.
Moreover, word is that Bloodborne only barely missed the top spot, which could suggest that the Battlefield franchise is seeing a downward trend after Battlefield 4's failed launch. That game was both a critical and a fan disappointment, and many wondered if Battlefield Hardline would be able to rebound. Clearly, it was able to save face for the franchise, but it will be interesting to see if it has any staying power.
As for the games that commonly appeared on these NPD listings since their release, there's no surprises there, except it will be interesting to see if NBA 2K15 maintains its staying power. As was displayed in the recent save deletion controversy with NBA 2K14, 2K Sports won't bother to support the servers that long.
Meanwhile, sales for Grand Theft Auto V remain very strong, as is evidenced by the fact that it was the third-best selling game of March. There's a good chance that, despite being a game that originally released in 2013, Grand Theft Auto V could potentially be the best-selling game of April 2015 thanks to its recent release on PC. The PC release has immediately become an astounding success for Rockstar Games, as it has already broken records, despite only being out for a couple of days at the time of this writing.
Of course, Grand Theft Auto V does have some stiff competition this month in the form of the major new release, Mortal Kombat X. Similarly to GTA V, Mortal Kombat X is already breaking records. According to series creator Ed Boon, Mortal Kombat X is now the fastest-selling game in the history of the longstanding fighting game franchise.
Yes, the list of best-selling games changed dramatically from February to March, but the same can't be said for hardware sales. In February, the PS4 was the best-selling home console (and the 3DS was the top selling game system overall), which was the same story for March. PS4 also leads its competition in software sales, with more games being sold for PS4 than any other console in the month of March.
March was actually a great month for all three major game companies. Sales of the 3DS are up a whopping 80 percent compared to the same time last year, with Wii U sales up 20 percent. Xbox is also experiencing success, with the Xbox One continuing to outpace the Xbox 360 at the same time in its lifespan. More people are playing Xbox Live on Xbox One than ever before as well, with a remarkable 45 percent increase of users when compared to March of last year.
It's a safe bet to assume that PS4 will lead April's hardware sales as well. That being said, with the exception of Mortal Kombat X, April is a fairly barren month for games on consoles, so overall hardware sales should slow down a bit in next month's NPD report.