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Gears of War: Judgment and God of War: Ascension underperform in March

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Gears of War: Judgment and God of War: Ascension, two blockbuster titles available exclusively for the Xbox 360 and PS3, respectively, have "significantly underperformed" for the month of March. The troubling news comes from a Cowen & Company investor note (via GI.biz), in which the company pointed out that both games failed to match the success of the predecessor in their respective franchises.

Cowen & Company estimates sales of Gears of War: Judgment to be around 425,000 units in the United States for the month. Comparatively, Gears of War 3, released in September 2011, sold well over 2 million copies in its first month. Things didn't fare much better for Sony's exclusive God of War: Ascension which is estimated to have sold just 360,000 units compared to the 1.1 million of God of War 3 back in March 2010.

"We had expected sales trends to improve in March due to a strong core line-up," the company wrote. "Two historically strong franchises appear to have significantly underperformed." The company also estimates that Square Enix's Tomb Raider and Take Two's BioShock Infinite will have performed much better during the month. Tomb Raider's sales are expected to be around 696,000 in 33 days, while BioShock Infinite amassed 665,000 in just 10 days.

However, the overall outlook for the month seems to be disappointed as the analyst expects NPD to report console and handheld software sales to be down 21% year-on-year and total packaged video game sales to drop by 17%. However, they do expect PC game sales to rise by 66% thanks to the release of SimCity and StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. Blizzard's real-time strategy sequel reportedly sold 1.1 million copies in just two days.

While publishers and investors alike are undoubtedly awaiting the arrival of new consoles, which many hope will boost the industry's slumping sales, it's a little concerning that even Xbox 360 and PS3 staple titles are struggling to sell units. Are fans just experiencing fatigue with these franchises? Both games, while entertaining in their own light, failed to receive the review scores of their predecessors. Both Judgment and Ascension scored 7.5/10 here on GameZone.

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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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