Helldivers 2 sales compare to Guitar Hero because it defies the odds and demand continues to grow

Helldivers 2 has been one of the surprise games of 2024 since its launch in February, topping the charts on Steam and… It reportedly sold about 3 million copies. And according to at least one analyst, it is still growing.

Comparing Helldivers 2 to a “rare and amazing bird,” Circana CEO Matt Piscatella wrote on This is what he describes as an “inverse delay curve” — the technical term for game sales that grow rather than decline after release.

“Sales are usually greatest for a new release during the first week, and decrease over time,” Piscatella explains. “With an 'inverse decay curve' the trend is reversed. This is rare, especially for larger games. Simply saying the word 'growth' does not explain its nature – as 'growth' can be temporary, i.e. a result of the deduction.”

“It's a very interesting title to watch.”

Piscatella is responsible for monthly sales charts that provide a snapshot of the gaming industry, compiled through actual sales data from stores as well as publishers who choose to share their data. Its data is not an exact measure of a game's success, but it does provide a useful snapshot of the gaming industry on a monthly basis.

Now, I'm not saying that Helldivers will become the next guitar hero, I'm just saying that there is similar behavior happening in the sales curve

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

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“Now, I'm not saying Helldivers 2 will become the next Guitar Hero, I'm just saying there's similar behavior happening in the sales curve,” he explains.

He confirms that what Helldivers 2 is experiencing is different from many games that are witnessing an artificial boom in sales thanks to online promotions such as the Steam Summer Sale. He says that what Helldivers 2 is seeing is “an increase in basic (i.e. daily) demand for the title.”

“This won't last forever. Eventually it will reach its peak and then sales will start to decline as it progresses through its life cycle. That's also normal and expected,” Piscatella says. “But, for now at least, this is a very interesting title to watch, especially since we see some other games really struggling commercially. But what's happening in the market overall is a big 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 household names like Fortnite and Call of Duty. Helldivers 2 currently sits at number three on the Steam charts, topped only by Dota 2 and Counter-Strike 2, and is popular enough that fakes have begun to appear on the service.

We'll see how long Helldivers 2 can maintain its momentum. In the meantime, check out our full review plus the best downloads and more.

Kat Bailey is IGN's news director and co-host of Nintendo Voice Chat. Do you have any advice? Send her a direct message at @the_katbot.

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