Video Games sales in U.S. (retail & digital) - March 2018
Analysis from NPD's VG industry analyst, Mat Piscatella
March 2018 spending across video game Hardware, Software, Accessories and Game Cards fell 11 percent when compared to a year ago, to $1.3 billion. Gains in Game Card and Accessories spending were offset by declines in Software and Hardware.
First quarter 2018 spending across video game Hardware, Software, Accessories and Game Cards grew 15 percent when compared to the same period a year ago, to $3.4 billion. Growth has occurred across all categories of spending.
NPD Group's U.S. Games Industry Sales - March 2018
5-Week Reporting Period : 3/4/2018 through 4/7/2018
|March 2018 Dollar Sales||Mar'17||Mar'18||Chg|
|Total Video Game Sales||$1,478m||$1,316m||-11%|
|Video Games Hardware||$485m||$331m||-32%|
|PC & Video Games Software||$682m||$613m||-10%|
|Video Games Accessories & Game Cards||$310||$372||20%|
|2018 Year to Date Dollar Sales||2017 YTD||2018 YTD||Chg|
|Total Video Game Sales||$2,979m||$3,411m||15%|
|Video Games Hardware||$817m||$925m||13%|
|PC & Video Games Software||$1,422m||$1,530m||8%|
|Video Games Accessories & Game Cards||$740||$956||29%|
1. PC, Console and Portable ; Physical and Full Game Digital Formats from the Steam, PlayStation and Xbox platforms
Dollar sales of Console, Portable and PC Games Software combined to reach $613 million in March 2018, down 10 percent compared to a year ago. Year to date, software spending is up 8 percent versus year ago, driven by the performance of Nintendo Switch software.
Far Cry 5 debuts as the top-selling title of March 2018 and instantly becomes the best-selling title of 2018. Far Cry 5 set a new launch month sales record for the Far Cry franchise, with consumer spending on full-game sales nearly doubling that of previous franchise best, Far Cry 3. Publisher Ubisoft is the leading publisher in both March and 2018 year to date (Jan.-Mar.).
Sea of Thieves was the second best-selling game of March, and is the eighth best-selling game of 2018 year to date. Sea of Thieves generated the highest launch month sales for any title produced by developer Rare since tracking by The NPD Group began in 1995.
MLB 18 : The Show was March's third best-selling game, launching with an all-time debut month franchise high in consumer sales with growth of over 40 percent versus the previous franchise best, MLB 14 : The Show.
Kirby Star Allies was the fourth best-selling game of March with launch month sales setting a new franchise record. Consumer spending for Kirby Star Allies was over 90 percent higher in its launch month when compared to the franchise's previous best-seller in launch month, Kirby : Nightmare in Dream Land, which was released on the Game Boy Advance in December 2002.
March 2018 Top 20 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales
|Far Cry 5||1||Ubisoft|
|Sea Of Thieves||2||Microsoft (Corp)|
|MLB 18: The Show||3||Sony (Corp)|
|Kirby Star Allies*||4||Nintendo|
|Grand Theft Auto V||5||Take 2 Interactive (Corp)|
|Call of Duty: WWII||6||Activision Blizzard (Corp)|
|Mario Kart 8*||7||Nintendo|
|Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom||8||Bandai Namco Games (Corp)|
|NBA 2K18||9||Take 2 Interactive (Corp)|
|Monster Hunter: World||10||Capcom USA|
|Super Mario Odyssey*||11||Nintendo|
|The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*||12||Nintendo|
|Playerunknown's Battlegrounds^||13||Microsoft (Corp)|
|Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege||14||Ubisoft|
|A Way Out^||15||Electronic Arts|
|Assassin's Creed: Origins||16||Ubisoft|
|Dragon Ball: Fighterz||17||Bandai Namco Games (Corp)|
|FIFA 18^||18||Electronic Arts|
|UFC 3||20||Electronic Arts|
* Digital sales not included
^ PC digital sales not included
Hardware spending in March 2018 declined 32 percent when compared to a year ago, to $331 million.
For the 2018 year to date period, hardware spending has increased 13 percent to $925 million, driven by growth in Xbox One spending. This is the highest year to date total achieved since 2014.
Sony's PlayStation 4 was the best-selling console hardware platform in March, and remains the best-selling console hardware platform year to date.
The Nintendo Switch 32GB with Neon Red/Blue Joy-Con is the best-selling hardware item of both March as well as 2018 year to date.
Accessories & Game Cards
Total spending on Accessories and Game Cards grew 20 percent in March 2018 when compared to a year ago, to $372 million. Accessories achieved the highest spending in the month of March since 2008, while spending on Game Cards reached a new March record high.
Year to date, Accessories and Game Card spending has grown 29 percent when compared to a year ago, to $956 million. Game Card spending achieved a record first quarter high, while Accessory spending reached the highest year to date total since 2011.
Both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One achieved Accessories sales growth of more than 40 percent in both the month of March as well as year to date 2018. The Headsets/Headphones segment is driving Accessories growth across both platforms, likely driven by the increase in popularity of multiplayer games such as Fortnite from Epic Games.
Sales of Headsets/Headphones grew 96 percent in March 2018 when compared to a year ago. Year to date, Headsets/Headphones spending has increased 78 percent. The Xbox One Ear Force Stealth 600 Wireless Headset from Turtle Beach is the best-selling Headset/Headphone for both March 2018 as well as 2018 year to date.
The Xbox One S Wireless Controller White was the best-selling Accessory in March, while the PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 Wireless Controller Black remains the best-selling Accessory year to date.
No Console platform achieved Game Card spending growth of less than 40 percent in the month of March. Battle Royale games such as Epic Games' Fortnite are a likely driver of this performance.
The Xbox Live $25 Game Card was the best-selling Game Card of March 2018, while the PlayStation Network $20 Game Card is the best-selling Game Card year to date.