Halo 3 “cannibalized” many other Xbox 360 game releases in September, according to IGN GamerMetrics analyst Nick Williams, with Stranglehold being particularly hard-hit by the effect.
A report on Gamasutra looking at GamerMetrics sales predictions for Xbox 360 releases shows that while many games failed to live up to anticipated levels of sales, Stranglehold suffered particularly harshly because of Halo 3’s dominance. The GamerMetrics predictions, as well as the actual sales data provided by the NPD Group, covers the first two calendar months of each game’s release.
“While the model was able to accurately predict the market size for Halo 3, it did not foresee the cannibalization effect that Master Chief would have on other September releases,” Williams said. While games like Skate, with sales of 225,887 units compared to predictions of 350,000, and Call of Juarez, which sold 72,317 units against predictions of 125,000, fared considerably worse than expected, it was Stranglehold that fell the farthest behind the GamerMetrics predictions: 115,813 units sold compared to a predicted total of 450,000.
“The underlying reason behind this trend is Halo’s unmatched replayability, especially with regards to the online multiplayer features,” Williams said. “During September and October, a significant portion of Xbox 360 owners played Halo 3 exclusively, with little attention given to other new releases.”