September 13, 2019
Retail sales of video games and hardware continue to suffer in an age of online gaming and lack of new-edition consoles.
The NPD Group reported that overall game sales fell 18% in August to $666 million, compared with $812 million in the previous-year period.
Through Aug. 31, total game spending for the year is down 6% to $7 billion, from $7.4 billion in 2018.
With major console manufacturers Sony and Microsoft not releasing new-edition units until 2020, consumers are holding back purchasing hardware.
Console sales dropped 22% to $167 million, from $214.1 million, while game sales plummeted 24% to $257 million, from $338.1 million. Accessories slipped 6% $242 million, from $257.4 million last year.
Software sales were the lowest since 1998, according to analyst Mat Piscatella.
“That’s not great,” Piscatella said on the NPD podcast.
Nintendo Switch remains the best-selling hardware platform, with August and year-to-date sales up compared to 2018. Indeed, the Japanese manufacturer continues to buttress the entire gaming industry with half of the top-selling titles in August playing exclusively on the Nintendo platform.
“It was a really weird month,” Piscatella said.
Football continues to be gaming draw with EA’s Madden NFL 20 the top-selling tile in August as it has been for the past seven years. The title, which includes select college features for the first time since litigation with the NCAA was resolved.
Madden NFL 20 is the third-best-selling title in 2019 and remains the best-selling sports title in U.S. history.
It came in ahead of Mojang’s Minecraft, the highest-ever ranking for the title, and ahead of Take Two’s perennial top-selling franchise Grand Theft Auto V in third place.
“Minecraft has had an exceptionally great summer,” Piscatella said.