January 19, 2022
Despite a slight dip in sales of video games, hardware and accessories in December, the full year 2021 reported $60.4 billion in revenue, which was up 8% from $55.9 billion in 2020, according to data from The NPD Group.
December sales dipped 1% to $7.5 billion, from $7.57 billion in the previous-year period. Software revenue remained flat at more than $5.7 billion as subscription-based revenue offset declining packaged media/digital sales. Hardware sales dropped 3% to $1.3 billion, from $1.34 billion. Accessories revenue, which includes controllers, fell 9% to $493 million, from $541 million.
For 2021, hardware sales — driven by new-generation Xbox Series X and Series S units, as well as the Sony PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch units — increased 14% to $6.1 billion, from $5.35 billion. Accessories increased 2% to $2.7 billion, from $2.64 billion in 2020.
Notably, the Nintendo Switch was the top-selling console in December and 2021, in both units and revenue. The Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the top-selling accessory. Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty: Vanguard was the top-selling video game title, edging out Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War.
Other top-selling games in 2021 included Microsoft’s Halo: Infinite; Nintendo’s Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl; Electronic Arts’ Madden NFL 22, and Battlefield 2042.
US NPD HW – December video game hardware dollar sales declined 3% when compared to December 2020, to $1.3 billion. Despite the December declines, full-year 2021 hardware spending reached $6.1 billion, gaining 14% compared to 2020.
— Mat Piscatella (@MatPiscatella) January 18, 2022