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Helldivers 2 Sales Compared to Guitar Hero as It Defies the Odds and Demand Continues to Grow

Helldivers 2 has been one of the surprise hits of 2024 since launching in February,
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and
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. And according to at least one analyst, it's still growing.


Writing on X/Twitter, Circana executive director Mat Piscatella compared Helldivers 2 to a "rare and amazing bird," saying that Helldivers 2 sales have continued to rise in its third week on the market. It is experience what he describes as an "inverse delay curve" — technical jargon for game sales growing rather than declining after release.

Normally, sales are biggest for a new release during week 1, and fall over time.

With an "inverse decay curve" the trend reverses. It's rare, particularly for bigger games. Just saying "growth" doesn't explain the nature - as "growth" could be temporary, ie from discounting.

— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella)
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"Normally, sales are biggest for a new release during week 1, and fall over time," Piscatella explains. "With an 'inverse decay curve' the trend reverses. It's rare, particularly for bigger games. Just saying 'growth' doesn't explain the nature — as 'growth' could be temporary, ie from discounting."

'It's a very exciting title to watch'


Piscatella's company is responsible for the monthly sales charts that provide a snapshot of the games industry, which is compiled through physical sales data from stores as well as publishers who choose to share their data. Its data is not a precise measure of a game's success, but it does provide a useful snapshot of the games industry on a month-to-month basis.

Now, I'm not saying Helldivers is going to become the next Guitar Hero, just saying that there's similar behavior happening in the sales curve

Speaking in a follow-up email with IGN, Piscatella compared Helldivers 2 to Guitar Hero, which he says "sold poorly" when it launched on PS2 but steadily grew due to word-of-mouth.

"Now, I'm not saying Helldivers 2 is going to become the next Guitar Hero, just saying that there's similar behavior happening in the sales curve," he explains.


He emphasizes that what Helldivers 2 is experiencing is different from a lot of games that see an artificial bump in sales thanks to online promotions like the Steam Summer Sale. What Helldivers 2 is seeing, he says, is an "increase in the base (i.e. everyday) demand for the title."

"This won't last forever. Eventually it'll hit a peak and then sales will start decaying as it moves further into its lifecycle. Which is also normal and expected," Piscatella says. "But, for now at least, it's a very exciting title to watch, particularly as we are seeing some other games really struggle commercially. But what's happening in the market at large is its own big whole mess of a topic."

One way or another, Helldivers 2 stands out as one of the rare service games to break into a category dominated by familiar names like Fortnite and Call of Duty. Helldivers 2 is currently #3 on Steam Charts, topped only by
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and
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, and is popular enough that
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.

We'll see how long Helldivers 2 is able to maintain its momentum. In the meantime, check out our
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as well as the
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and more.


Kat Bailey is IGN's News Director as well as co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Have a tip? Send her a DM at @the_katbot.

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