Skylanders Swap Force and Disney Infinity had a Black Friday-weekend showdown. Both titles saw deep discounts as they tried to lure parents shopping for the holidays, and early indicators suggest Activision’s Skylanders might have outperformed Infinity.
Skylanders Swap Force for Nintendo’s Wii console was the 14th best-selling game on Amazon over the weekend, according to Market-research firm Cowen and Company. That’s compared to Disney Infinity for Wii, which peaked as the 25th best-selling game.
It’s important to note that, traditionally, Skylanders sells the best on Wii, so it’s no surprise that the Wii SKU sold well for that franchise. Infinity, however, sells pretty evenly across all its platforms, so it is possible that it made up the difference in sales with strong PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 sales.
The starter kits for both Skylanders Swap Force and Disney Infinity normally retail for $75, but each saw a discount of $25. That’s a much bigger discount than Skylanders’ average price cut of $18 in 2011 and 2012. The Wii versions of both were the only ones to make Amazon’s top 30. While both games are available for multiple platforms, their target audience are primarily younger children.
Cowen analyst Doug Creutz collected the data by tracking the top 20 best-selling games on Amazon throughout Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The analyst then aggregated the rankings into a single chart based on those estimates.
Prior to the Black Friday weekend, Infinity seemed to have the edge over Skylanders.
In early November, Activision revealed that it was expecting the Skylanders franchise to slow down compared to 2012. The company noted that consumer uncertainty surrounding the transition to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 was causing some gamers to hesitate. Activision also blames Nintendo’s new Pokémon games for the 3DS and Disney Infinity for dividing consumer attention.
It’s important to note that these numbers don’t necessarily reflect demand. It’s possible that Amazon’s supply of Skylanders Swap Force was greater than what it had of Disney Infinity. The Wii version of Skylanders: Swap Force is still on sale for $50, while Disney Infinity for Wii is now selling for $60.
The bigger story
Creutz points out that these Amazon numbers could indicate overall sales performance across the entire market. Although it isn’t a perfect measure, the analyst expects many of the best-performing Amazon titles to appear on the best-seller charts from industry-tracking firm The NPD Group next month.
“For the last three years, the overlap for the top-20 selling games on Amazon during the week of Thanksgiving and the top-20 selling games during the month of December, as measured by NPD dollar sales, was significant, though the relationship was less strong in 2012 than it was in 2010 and 2011.”
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!