By Raymond Dwyer / March 15th, 2013
Recent numbers from the NDP Group show Fire Emblem: Awakening is the strongest release for the series in the United States. The game, developed by Intelligent Systems, has sold more than 180,000 units, with over 63,000 of that total distributed digitally through the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Despite the strong digital showing, retail sales for the game were not enough to make the top 10 retail games of February 2013. Last year, Fire Emblem: Awakening sold 242,600 units during its first week in Japan.
Fire Emblem: Awakening has been very well-received critically, as you can read in our review, and for now is the top reviewed game of 2013 on both Metacritic and GameRankings for home and portable game consoles. Gamers in Europe will soon be able to experience the deep tactical RPG for themselves when it is released on April 19 with an exclusive 3DS XL bundle. Nintendo plans to support the game with downloadable content well into the future, adding value to a game already packed with gameplay on its own.
While Fire Emblem: Awakening suffered shipping delays that likely hurt physical sales, the game represents a continued push in the video game industry towards digital distribution. Along with high sales on Nintendo’s eShop, the game offers some of the most ambitious extra content the publisher has ever offered online. With the rising impact of digital distribution on overall sales, NPD has committed to include this new revenue stream in their monthly reports. However, their monthly sales reports still only include retail sales, with occasional estimates for other sources, including used games, mobile games, and digital content. While all sales tracking is more or less an estimate, NPD struggles to accurately track the rising force of digital distribution, since obtaining data for sales figures often relies on publishers that sell their games directly to consumers, as is the case with Nintendo and Fire Emblem: Awakening.
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