Sony helped publisher Capcom make and market the latest entry in its Street Fighter fighting-game series. But that didn’t make it strong enough to beat Naruto.
Publisher Bandai Namco’s PlayStation 4 version of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 sold better than the PS4 release of Street Fighter V in February, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. Sony never revealed the details of its deal with Capcom, but it’s clear that it spent money on marketing and events like the Street Fighter tournament at the PlayStation Experience. In exchange, the brawler is only coming to PS4 and PC — so no Xbox One version. But despite that promotion and the Xbox One exclusion, Street Fighter V was not able to finish its first month on the market as the top-selling PS4 game.
“Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 was the top-selling game on a SKU basis with its PS4 version,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement provided to GamesBeat.
To translate that into plain language, NPD is saying that the PlayStation 4 version of Naruto was the best-selling game on any single platform. For the typical NPD sales chart, it combines all version of a game across every platform into one product.
PS4 Naruto topping the SKU chart means that it definitely outsold Street Fighter V and every other game on Sony’s console. Now, the NPD only tracks physical games sold at U.S. retailers, so this doesn’t include digital. But it’s unlikely that Street Fighter had substantially more downloads than Naruto.
This is somewhat surprising when you realize that Naruto fans had the option of getting the game on either Xbox One or PlayStation 4. And yet the PS4 version alone outsold Street Fighter V, which fans could only get physically on Sony’s system.
We’ve reached out to Capcom for a comment.
If you’re wondering why something like Naruto did so much better than Street Fighter, it could have something to do with early reviews. Fans and critics complained that the fighting game feels barren in terms of modes and options, which is something that could turn off more casual players.
Or, I don’t know, maybe every PlayStation 4 owner is just a huge anime nerd.