The Reason Madden 25 Sold 650k Units Less Than Madden 13
For the NFL's season debut last night between the Denver Broncos and the Baltimore Ravens (you know, the one where Manning went ham all over your fantasy football team), NBC scored a whopping 23.190 million viewers, which was up nearly 1 million from last year's NFL season debut. So, there's no denying that the NFL fandom is at an all time high. But, today, Electronic Arts' shares have dropped dramatically after the first week's NPD numbers for Madden 25 were revealed, as the game sold less than last year's Madden 13.
Last year, EA burned through 1.65 million copies of Madden 13 in the first week, but not this year. Madden 25 has only sold 1 million units, according to the company, which is quite a significant difference in sales dollars. So, you're probably left wondering what the hell happened, right?
There's a few factors in play here working against Madden 25 sales. First, and most importantly, let's not forget that there is still a next-gen version of the game to come out for the Xbox One and PS4. That, in itself, is likely the biggest reason for the loss in sales. Let's face it: video games are expensive, so players are going to choose just one version of the game, likely the next gen version which will be the better version to have. I have no doubt in my mind that Madden 25 for next gen will sell tremendously well, especially for the Xbox One because of the NFL hoopla surrounding the console.
EA can be thankful that it isn't the review scores, though. Madden 25 is holding a generally positive review score on Metacritic, averaging at 80/100 critic rating, even despite the game's major flaws (such as injuries and interceptions). So, that's good news for EA.
But, there is a second factor at play here at EA should be concerned about: gamer's fatigue--more specifically, sports gamer's fatigue. Gamers are beginning to grow weary of EA (and 2K Sports) spitting out yearly game iterations of their favorite sport without much of a change in the actual game, aside from roster moves. I know more than a few formerly hardcore Madden players that are still refusing to buy Madden 25 simply due to the fact that they still have Madden 13, and not much has changed aside from the rosters. It'd be hard to imagine an August without a new Madden, but maybe it is time for EA to take a 4th quarter timeout and take more time with the next one to see what new additions they can come up with when there is actually time to do so.