Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Register today.
Correction: The PlayStation 4 SKU of Naruto Shippuden outsold the various individual Street Fighter V SKUs on PS4. But when you combine the multiple SKUs of SFV on PS4 it edges out the Bandai Namco game. So the previous claim that Naruto was the best-selling PS4 game is only technically accurate. I apologize for the error and the confusion. I’ve updated the text to accurately reflect the facts.
Sony helped publisher Capcom make and market the latest entry in its Street Fighter fighting-game series. But that didn’t make it a mammoth success.
Publisher Bandai Namco’s PlayStation 4 version of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 nearly outsold the PS4 release of Street Fighter V in February, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. Sony never revealed the details of its deal with Capcom, but it’s clear that it spent money on marketing and events like the Street Fighter tournament at the PlayStation Experience. In exchange, the brawler is only coming to PS4 and PC — so no Xbox One version. But despite that promotion and the Xbox One exclusion, Street Fighter V was not able to crack the top five.
“Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 was the top-selling game on a SKU basis with its PS4 version,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement provided to GamesBeat.
To translate that into plain language, NPD is saying that the PlayStation 4 version of Naruto was the best-selling game version of a game. The typical NPD sales chart, it combines all version of a game across every platform into one product. But when you combine the standard and the collector’s edition SKUs for PS4, Street Fighter V actually sold better.
Now, the NPD only tracks physical games sold at U.S. retailers, so this doesn’t include digital. But it’s unlikely that Street Fighter had substantially more downloads.
This is somewhat surprising when you realize that Naruto fans had the option of getting the game on either Xbox One or PlayStation 4. And yet the PS4 version alone outsold Street Fighter V, which fans could only get physically on Sony’s system.
If you’re wondering why something like Naruto did nearly as well as Street Fighter, it could have something to do with early reviews. Fans and critics complained that the fighting game feels barren in terms of modes and options, which is something that could turn off more casual players.
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.