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Could a Lockout Affect NHL 13's Sales?

Commissioner Gary Bettman and the NHL owners confirmed Thursday that the league is prepared to enter a lockout if a new collective bargaining agreement isn't reached by September 15, 2012.

With EA Sports' NHL 13 hitting stores September 11, 2012, it is becoming extremely likely that the sole surviving NHL video game franchise could release during a league-wide work stoppage which on the surface seems an exceedingly bad idea.

Could this lockout impact the sales of NHL 13? To decide, let's review a few recent league lockouts and see how their video game equivalents fared during those years.

**Sales data acquired from VGChartz, so use at your own peril for making truly accurate judgments.
 

2004–05 NHL Lockout (September 16, 2004 to July 22, 2005)

Year Before Lockout

NHL 2004 -- 0.97 (PlayStation 2), 0.18 (Xbox), 0.10 (Gamecube) = 1.25 million worldwide sales

Year Of Lockout

NHL 2005 -- 0.45 (PlayStation 2), 0.16 (Xbox), 0.07 (Gamecube) = 0.68 million worldwide sales

A 53% decline on the franchise's lead system (PlayStation 2) led to a massive drop in overall sales, despite the fairly steady performance on Xbox and Gamecube.



1998–99 NBA Lockout (July 1, 1998 to January 20, 1999)


Year Before Lockout

NBA Live 98 (PlayStation) = 1.51 million worldwide sales

Year Of Lockout

NBA Live 99 (PlayStation) = 1.22 million worldwide sales

The NBA Live series' PlayStation sales dropped 19%, despite the fact that NBA Live 99 faced less competition than it had the previous year. Sony's NBA ShootOut brand skipped the '99 video game season, returning the following year with NBA ShootOut 2000.



2011 NBA Lockout (July 1, 2011 to December 8, 2011)

Year Before Lockout

NBA 2K11 -- 2.02 (Xbox 360) + 1.69 (PlayStation 3) + 0.47 (Wii) + 0.38 (PSP) + 0.19 (PC) = 4.75 million worldwide sales

Year Of Lockout

NBA 2K12 -- 2.42 (Xbox 360) + 1.87 (PlayStation 3) + 0.28 (Wii) + 0.22 (PSP) + 0.14 (PC) = 4.93 million worldwide sales

Despite a slow start during the first month, Take Two's NBA 2K12 ultimately outperformed the previous year's game, scoring a 14% improvement in sales on the franchise's primary platforms (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3).



Conclusion


Considering the booming worldwide sales of 2005 sports games like Madden NFL 2005 (7.59 million), NFL 2K5 (4.26 million), NBA Live 2005 (3.93 million), NBA 2K5 (2.55 million) and MVP Baseball 2005 (2.80 million), EA Sports' NHL 2005 (0.68 million) was absolutely devastated by the NHL's most-recent lockout.

However, the NHL series' quality has improved tremendously since its run of uninspired, forgettable PlayStation 2 games. An argument could be made that the reason NBA 2K12 still sold well in the face of a lockout is the series' general perception as a high-quality sports franchise, much like EA's NHL brand.

Under that assumption, I believe NHL 13 will follow the pattern of Take Two's NBA 2K12, launching with an underperforming first month, then gradually exceeding the previous game's sales by a small margin over time.


NHL 13 Videos
Member Comments
# 1 gopher_guy @ 08/15/12 12:10 PM
Gotta think they will figure something out.

They are in negotiation mode right now, so they may say they are prepared for a lockout now, but when it comes down to the wire, they all know how damaging another lockout would be to the sport.
 
# 2 Retropyro @ 08/15/12 12:34 PM
Lockouts or strikes have never influenced my buying decision personally.
 
# 3 Matthewkyleyoung @ 08/15/12 12:37 PM
It really comes down to the game, as NBA 2k proved.

With the new physics engine, and connected careers, I think it will out sell last year no matter what. The only thing a lockout might affect are the late winter or spring sales. When people might be getting excited for the playoff run of the NHL and want to purchase the game if they havent, instead people will turn to the new baseball season, or the NBA, thereby losing potential sales. But overall, sales will have the same initial boom as always.
 
# 4 mercalnd @ 08/15/12 12:51 PM
What the article failed to take into consideration is that the lockout in 2004 actually caused teh entire season to be cancelled. NBA 2K12 sales, while low at first, picked up once the lockout ended and the season started.

I highly doubt that the NHL will be stupid enough to cancel another season so, with teh game as good as it seems, any damage to early sales due to a lockout should be mitigated once the league gets up and running again.
 
# 5 Vikes1 @ 08/15/12 01:06 PM
Matt pretty much summed up my thoughts.

If God forbid a lockout dragged on deep into the season, maybe people who didn't buy the game at launch, might lose interest in buying months later.

A lockout would be a major drag. Seems like the NHL is now really back on it's feet. Another lengthy dispute imo, would be very bad for all. The two sides just can't let this happen again.
 
# 6 BaylorBearBryant @ 08/15/12 01:18 PM
I'd be SHOCKED if we miss any regular season games. Worst case scenario, we have a shortened season like the NBA.
 
# 7 Nomah5 @ 08/15/12 01:46 PM
US Nhl fans are fans. I know if there is a lockout looming and selfishly hope its doesnt happen ( Season ticket holder to coyotes----lockout would seal coffin in the desert) I know NHL 13 will be on my TV nightly if games arent.
 
# 8 BCDX97 @ 08/15/12 04:42 PM
The year they didn't play, I didn't buy the game. I was in no mood to play it with them bickering over money. It was pathetic and I hope they get their act together quickly, because I don't want to miss another season (and the accompanying game).
 
# 9 stooge 1010 @ 08/15/12 05:58 PM
i think if there is a lockout people will want the game more ,since we cant watch it,we will have to get it some way.
 
# 10 crankybaker @ 08/15/12 06:53 PM
A few threads on this now.... We have some worried fans.

It will suck so hard if I can't watch 82 games of the mighty pens but I doubt the sales will really be affected in the long run. As the core will pick up the game no matter what, and most of the fence sitters are keen for this title with all the new features.
 
# 11 kejimutoh @ 08/15/12 08:29 PM
Good Old Gary. He is such a joke! Tries to promote the sport, then stuff like this happens. He has such a great track record. He has been a complete failure ever since he became the MAN of the NHL. I know it takes 2 to tango, but man, when something positive for the sport has happened, he never seems to take the "moment" to get a bigger audience to watch the sport.

If the lockout does take place, I think it will affect the sale of the game. As for the game I hope it is as good as EA is ranting with its new elements they say that they have put into the game. I am glad I can come to OS to read what the staff and forum members say about the game.
 
# 12 kerosene31 @ 08/15/12 08:56 PM
Wasn't NHL 2005 one of the worst games in the series? I couldn't see a lockout impacting things that much. Wasn't 2k5 way better that year? I remember a lot of people sticking with 2004 on PC with updated rosters rather than going to 05.
 
# 13 jyoung @ 08/15/12 09:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kerosene31
Wasn't NHL 2005 one of the worst games in the series? I couldn't see a lockout impacting things that much. Wasn't 2k5 way better that year? I remember a lot of people sticking with 2004 on PC with updated rosters rather than going to 05.
EA's hockey titles really struggled to match 2K's quality in the early-to-mid-2000s. I remember getting NHL 2K for the Dreamcast, and there was no going back to EA hockey after that. It was such a mind-blowing game for the time, much the way NHL 98 had been just a few years ago.

It wasn't until NHL 07 that EA hockey games started to regain my interest.
 
# 14 JohnnytheSkin @ 08/15/12 10:15 PM
I won't buy it if there isn't a season. I like the roster updates and primarily play exhibition games that replay games I watched on TV. No NHL on TV = No Buy.
 
# 15 tabulaRasa @ 08/16/12 07:28 AM
They are idiots if they allow another lockout, NHL friggin Peaked after the NHL succes of NY rangers. NHL was featured in super popular shows like Friends and in movies. Manhattan was boiling. THen they get into a lockout? IDIOTS!. ANd now they do the same again? Can you be more stupid?
 
# 16 UGOOGLE DOT COM @ 08/16/12 08:02 AM
but buter buy game now than latre it wont be able to buy gam,e right?
 
# 17 UGOOGLE DOT COM @ 08/16/12 08:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnytheSkin
I won't buy it if there isn't a season. I like the roster updates and primarily play exhibition games that replay games I watched on TV. No NHL on TV = No Buy.
but why you watch tv games if not on video or 360 game right?
 
# 18 UGOOGLE DOT COM @ 08/16/12 08:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tabulaRasa
They are idiots if they allow another lockout, NHL friggin Peaked after the NHL succes of NY rangers. NHL was featured in super popular shows like Friends and in movies. Manhattan was boiling. THen they get into a lockout? IDIOTS!. ANd now they do the same again? Can you be more stupid?
but nhl not lock them out if us buy the game in big numbers so manybe buy before lockout and get roster update free when it comes out lockout over and they will update anyways right? LOCKOUT = no money when roster update right?
 
# 19 jayenomics @ 08/16/12 09:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by UGOOGLE DOT COM
but nhl not lock them out if us buy the game in big numbers so manybe buy before lockout and get roster update free when it comes out lockout over and they will update anyways right? LOCKOUT = no money when roster update right?
what?

They aren't going to drop a lockout because some people buy a video game.


That being said, I doubt a lockout will effect purchase rates for the game.
 
# 20 Mikeglongo @ 08/16/12 10:49 AM
It might affect me. I hate buying video games during a lockout. Don't ask me why, but it just happens that I don't want to buy it.
 

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