God of War: Ascension has ‘underperformed,’ says analyst

PlayStation 3-exclusive God of War: Ascension only sold around 360,000 units across North America during its first month on sale.

That’s according to estimates posted by Doug Cruetz (via CVG), an analyst with Cowen & Company, who also forecast disappointing sales for Microsoft heavyweight contender, Gears of War: Judgment.

Cruetz noted that estimated sales for GoW: Ascension pale in comparison to God of War III, released in 2010, which sold over one million copies during its first month at retail.

It wasn’t all bad news, however. The analyst noted that both Tomb Raider and BioShock: Infinite sold strongly during the same period.

"War, What Is It Good For? Not Much. We had expected sales trends to improve in March due to a strong core lineup. However, while some titles appear to have done well, including Square Enix’ ‘Tomb Raider’ (est. 696K console units in 33 days) and Take-Two’s ‘Bioshock Infinite’ (est. 665K console units in 10 days), two historically strong franchises appear to have significantly underperformed,” he said.

"We estimate Microsoft’s ‘Gears of War: Judgment’ sold just 425K units, vs. first month sales of over 2MM for ‘Gears of War 3’ in September 2011, and we estimate Sony’s ‘God of War: Ascension’ sold just 360K units, vs. first month sales of over 1.1MM for ‘God of War 3’ in March 2010. Both titles received fairly mediocre reviews."

God of War: Ascension currently sits at a not-too-shabby 80 on Metacritic. was rather impressed with the game, awarding it a 9/10 in our review. Meanwhile, Gears of War stands at 79.

While Cowen & Company’s predictions pertain to North America, U.K. sales for BioShock: Infinite and Tomb Raider remain equally strong.

Tomb Raider topped the charts following its release in early March, and still holds the record as the region’s biggest game launch of 2013 so far. BioShock: Infinite supplanted Lara Croft’s reboot upon its release on March 26 and has remained at the top spot ever since, though didn’t quite manage to trump Tomb Raider’s week-one sales.

As for God of War: Ascension, Kratos’s latest effort debuted at no.2 last month, but quickly vanished from the Top Ten in subsequent weeks. Gears of War: Judgment entered the charts in first place during the same month.

Stay tuned to for the full NPD data, due this Thursday.