NPD: June Video Game Sales Jumped 26%

The video game industry’s torrid sales streaks in April and May slowed a bit in June, reaching $1.2 billion, which was still up 26% from $952 million in sales in June 2019, according to new data from The NPD Group. Through the mid-year point, game sales top $6.6 billion — the highest tally since the same time period in 2010 — and up 19% from $5.54 billion in 2019.

After a three month surge, console sales dropped 17% to $191 million from $230 million last year as gamers await next edition units from Sony and Microsoft this winter. Through the half-year, hardware revenue is up 25% to $1.6 billion from $1.28 billion last year. Nintendo Switch again led all platforms in unit and dollar sales.

Sales of game accessories and game cards jumped 29% to $417 million from  $323 million last year. The top-selling accessory was the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller. Year-to-date accessory sales are up 15% to $2 billion from $1.74 billion.

Finally, software sales skyrocketed 49% to $570 million from $382.5 million — driven in part by the launch of Sony’s The Last of Us: Part II. NPD game analyst Mat Piscatella, in a post on Twitter, said Sony’s release topped Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

NPD: May Video Game Sales Skyrocket 52% as Pandemic Spurs Consumption

Pandemic-driven housebound consumers love to play video games. New data from The NPD Group found that total sales of hardware, software and accessories increased 52% to $997 million, compared with $643 million in the previous-year period. It was the third-consecutive month of growth following nearly two years of steady declines.

Year-to-date sales are up 18% to $5.5 billion from 2019, and the best five-month period since 2011. Hardware sales shot up 56% to $235 million, while accessories and game cards revenue increased 32% to $304 million. Software sales burgeoned 67% to $438 million.

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“This is the highest tracked spend for a May month since the $1.2 billion achieved in May 2008,” analyst Mat Piscatella wrote in a Tweet.

Nintendo Switch again led all hardware manufacturer with unit sales the best for an individual platform in May since sales of the Nintendo DS in 2009, according to NPD. Accessories/game cards sales increased 32% and are up 12% for the year. The best-selling accessory was the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller.

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NPD: October Video Game Sales Fail to Beat Last Year’s Record

Sales of video games and hardware in October topped $1 billion, which was down 34% from last year’s record $1.57 billion month, according to new data from The NPD Group.

The tally was still the second-best October in past 10 years, and a positive for an industry undergoing change in how consumers acquire and play games.

Indeed, console sales continue to struggle as consumers await new editions slated to begin launching a year from now.

Hardware revenue plummeted 41% to $182 million from $308 million last year, while software revenue fell 37% to $620 million from $984 million. Accessories and game card sales dropped 16% to $231 million from $275 million.

“Year-to-date spending across tracked video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards has fallen 10% [to $9.3 billion] when compared to October 2018,” analyst Mat Piscatella said in a videoblog post.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (Activision) topped software sales, besting The Outer Worlds (Take Two) and Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Nintendo). Modern Warfare has become the top-selling title in 2019.

“This is the 12th consecutive year a ‘Call of Duty’ game has ranked as the best-selling game of its release month,” Piscatella said. “‘Call of Duty’ remains the best-selling video game in U.S. tracked history by dollar sales.”

NPD: August Video Game Sales Declined Double Digits

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.

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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.