NPD: US games biz has best January gains since 2011

Significant spending increases across hardware and software - including titles like Dragon Ball: Fighterz (pictured) - drove US video game sales to US$1.1 billion, the industry's highest January total in seven years.
February 23, 2018

US video game salesincluding hardware, software and accessoriesfor January 2018 reached its highest total for the month since 2011, growing by 59% to US$1.1 billion, according to The NPD Group’s latest sales report.

Hardware spending jumped the most, up a whopping 119% versus a year ago to US$278 million. The increase was driven by sales of Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4, and marks the highest sales level since US consumers spent US$323 million in January 2011.

While Nintendo has recently been stealing thunder from Microsoft and Sony with the massive success of its Switch console (nearly 15 million units have sold globally to date), sales results from January show that the gap between the top-selling platform and the third best-selling one was only 3% (NPD isn’t permitted to release hardware sales rankings). Unit sales of Nintendo 3DS were also the highest since January 2013.

As for software sales, console, portable and PC games combined rose by 51% versus last January, reaching US$517 million. The result is the highest total since US$549 million was generated in January 2011.

Across all platforms, Dragon Ball: Fighterz (pictured) from Bandai Namco Games was the second best-selling game for January. The result marks a return to form in the gaming space for the long-running anime-based IP, as sales for Fighterz were the highest for a Dragon Ball franchise release since Dragon Ball Z: Budokai launched in December 2002. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse also cracked the top 20 best-sellers chart, landing in the 16th spot.

Nintendo hits Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon 2 also continue to sell well, ranking seventh, eighth, ninth and eighteenth, respectively. EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront II also helped drive software sales by securing the 11th spot on the best-sellers list.

Meanwhile, total sales of accessories and gamecards in January 2018 jumped by 37% to US$301 million compared to a year ago. The previous record of US$272 million was reached in January 2013.

The industry’s record-breaking month follows the significant decline of US interactive gaming toy sales, which fell by 66% last December. Nintendo, however, remains committed to the category having just released its new Labo line of cardboard-based, interactive DIY experiences for kids.

About The Author
Jeremy is the Features Editor of Kidscreen specializing in the content production, broadcasting and distribution aspects of the global children's entertainment industry. Contact Jeremy at jdickson@brunico.com.



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