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Diablo 3 sales charts are misleading

Earlier today GfK, who monitors the sales of music, videos and software through retail in the UK and Ireland, revealed the sales reports for last week's new releases Max Payne 3 and Diablo 3.

GfK didn't release the exact numbers of each game's individual sales, but did run a headline "Max Payne 3 Beats Diablo III to No1". You can imagine the news that spread from that.  Max Payne 3 outsold Diablo 3!? That's exactly what many sites are claiming happened.

According to the charts from GfK, Max Payne 3 moved 8,000 more box copies than Diablo 3.  Alas, there is just one problem with that.  GfK does not track digital downloads of the game, only box copies.  There in lies the problem and cause for a lot of these misleading headlines that have popped up today.

It's likely that Max Payne 3 sold more box copies than Diablo 3.  After all, it was released on Xbox 360 and PS3 along with PC; whereas Diablo 3 was only a PC release.  Not to mention, these numbers have another thing going against it: Blizzard's Battle.net service that offered pre-purchase downloads of the game prior to the release. 

I'm not saying this is definitive, but I'm sure digital downloads accounted for a sizable chunk of Diablo 3's sales.  That's how I, along with my friends, bought our copies of Diablo 3.

While I have no doubt that Max Payne 3 sold incredibly well, I have a hard time believing it outsold the highly-anticipated Diablo 3.  I mean, people have been waiting nearly a decade for this game to release, and while Max Payne 3 was also long due, I just can't see it surpassing Diablo 3's sales.

Either way, it shouldn't belong before we get some sort of press release from both companies revealing the initial sales numbers Max Payne 3 and Diablo 3.  Until then, I think we should just take it easy with the Max Payne 3 outsells Diablo 3 hearsay.  Not to mention, comparing a multiplatform game to a PC-exclusive while tracking only boxed copy sales is just dumb.

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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