Last month, Raven Lead Designer Manveer Heir put out the challenge: If Wolfenstein outsold Madden NFL 10 in August, he wrote on his Twitter blog, he would personally pay for everyone's copy of Wolfenstein. The proposition was made somewhat less thrilling by the fact that there was absolutely zero chance of a Raven FPS, even a very good one, beating EA Sports' number-one title on the sales chart, but it was still a fun idea and a great way to drum up some publicity.
Then something interesting happened: The latest Madden hit the shelves and it didn't take off quite as everyone expected. Analyst Colin Sebastian said the game was "trending slightly below plan out of the gates." The game was on!
But it wasn't, not really. NPD numbers for August came out yesterday and Madden, unsurprisingly, dominated the charts. The number one game for the month was Madden NFL 10 for the Xbox 360; the PlayStation 3 version came in at number three while the PS2 version was number six. The Wii and PSP editions didn't make the chart but still cranked out healthy numbers; collectively, nearly two million copies of the game were sold across all platforms. Wolfenstein, on the other hand, didn't even make the top ten.
"For those of you who are waiting for your free copies of Wolfenstein - sorry. No dice," Heir wrote earlier today. "Madden sold well over a million."
In spite of the crushing defeat, Heir didn't seem to take the loss very badly; in fact, he seemed almost philosophical about it. "For the record I am not surprised or sad we didn't beat Madden," he added. "Madden is a JUGGERNAUT in this industry. That was the point of the 'bet'."
Better luck next time!