38 Studios debut ‘Reckoning’ sells 80K in March; out of top 10

“Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning,” the first game from Curt Schilling’s Providence-based 38 Studios, sold another 80,000 copies in the United States last month, WPRI.com has confirmed.

That brings total U.S. retail sales of “Reckoning” to 410,000 copies during its first two months on the market, according to data provided to WPRI.com by NPD Group, a New York-based research firm.

“Reckoning” was released Feb. 7 to positive reviews and debuted at No. 4 on NPD’s bestseller list in February. It fell off the list in March, when eight of the month’s top 10 games were new releases.

NPD spokesman David Riley called 410,000 “an impressive figure for just two months, no matter how you slice it,” particularly for “a new IP” – a game that’s not a sequel but an entirely new storyline. Electronics Arts (EA) is distributing it.

NPD’s figures don’t include “Reckoning” sales outside the U.S., which would likely increase the total. In addition, Alexander Sliwinski of gaming news site Joystiq cautioned that NPD only counts physical copies sold. “That means digital sales of ‘Reckoning’ are missing, which actually has mattered more and more lately with EA’s Origin digital distribution service and the almighty Steam digital distribution service,” Sliwinski said in an email.

Indeed, companies can be touchy about the value of NPD’s estimates. “We think the monthly NPD reports are a very poor indicator of the industry’s performance,” EA’s John Reseburg told Joystiq recently, adding: “Taking these reports as an accurate snapshot of the industry today is a dangerous assumption.”

Project Copernicus, the massively multiplayer online game 38 Studios is developing in Providence using a $75 million backed by Rhode Island taxpayers, could be released before the end of this year.

• Related: Long odds for Rhode Island-backed Schilling game (Aug. 3, 2010)

This post has been updated and expanded.

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