Uncharted 4 is a huge success for Sony, and Doom is a triumphant return, but Blizzard has something bigger.
Overwatch, the multiplayer shooter from publisher Blizzard, is a blockbuster hit. While industry-tracking firm The NPD Group announced today that the PlayStation 4 exclusive Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was the top-selling game in May, that’s only for new games sold at physical retailers in the United States. If you bring in digital and, more importantly, digital PC sales, Overwatch is selling at a pace that’s around twice as fast as Uncharted, which is only on PlayStation 4. In May, Sony confirmed that the first week sales for Uncharted 4 surpassed 2.7 million. That’s enormous for a single-platform release in the middle of spring. But Overwatch, which debuted on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, sold more than 7 million copies in its first week.
This is more proof that Blizzard, which operates the titanically successful World of Warcraft subscription-based online game, can find success in the $99.6 billion gaming industry whether it’s making a free-to-play card battler or a premium-priced team shooter.
Uncharted wasn’t the only game higher on NPD’s May list than Overwatch. Doom was No. 2 ahead of Overwatch at No. 3. GamesBeat asked Bethesda for a figure and will update this story if the publisher responds. The independent SteamSpy analytics site, which tracks PC sales on the popular Steam portal, reported that Doom surpassed 500,000 copies sold on PC by the end of May.
Doom definitely sold well, but — like Uncharted — it’s not selling as swiftly as Overwatch. The sci-fi hell shooter from id Software landed higher on the chart due to debuting May 13, which was well ahead of Overwatch’s May 24 launch.
NPD analyst Liam Callahan points out that demand for Overwatch outpaced Bethesda’s latest new release.
“Overwatch was the third best-selling game for May with only a few days on the market,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said. “When comparing Overwatch sales for days in the market, it doubled the sales of Doom.”
You can take this as a reminder that the NPD report is not a perfect way to track how well games are selling relative to one another. Instead, it’s a snapshot of a larger, more dynamic market. And it only exists because its clients, like Nintendo and Microsoft, pay NPD to collect this data.