January 2018 NPD Sales Results

January has become somewhat of a monster month in terms of retail sales for video games and consoles. That’s because there are a lot of gift cards from the holidays being spent and after opening a shiny new console for Christmas the new owners need games and accessories as well. Of course it never hurts to have a blockbuster or two released at the beginning of the year either! January 2018 was quite extraordinary and is one of the best on record.

For last month total video game spending was $1.096 billion, that’s up a massive 59% from last year, which was $690 million. In fact, all segments of the industry were up. Hardware came in at $278 million (a 119% increase from $127 million), software sales contributed $517 million (51% increase from $343 million), and accessories saw sales of $301 million (37% increase from $220 million).

Software sales were energized by two big hitters: Monster Hunter Worlds (PS4, Xbox One) and Dragon Ball Fighter Z (PS4, Xbox One). These two games propelled the software sales so high that we have to look back to 2011 to find a higher number for January. Monster Hunter Worlds was the highest debut for any game in the series and Dragon Ball Fighter Z was the highest since 2002 when Dragon Ball Z: Budokai released.

Hardware sales for January were also the highest since January 2011, which saw $323 million. Over 1 million pieces of hardware were sold to customers, the highest for January since 2011. But, which console sold the most for January 2018? The Switch! That’s right, Nintendo managed to keep supplies stocked for January and as a result Nintendo shifted the most units in January. Another interesting tidbit is that the 3DS hardware dollar sales were the best since 2014 and the unit sales were the highest since 2013. I guess those Pokémon games are still putting in the work.

Below are the top 20 selling games overall. These are based on revenue, not units sold. In addition, Nintendo first party games don’t include digital sales, whereas many others on the list do. That means that Nintendo’s games surely sold more than is listed in this list, and could have adjusted placement. Until Nintendo decides to share its eShop data with the NPD, we’ll never know for sure.

 

Overall

  1. Monster Hunter: World
  2. Dragon Ball: Fighterz
  3. Call of Duty: WWII
  4. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds*
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. NBA 2K18
  7. Super Mario Odyssey**
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild**
  9. Mario Kart 8**
  10. Madden NFL 18
  11. Star Wars: Battlefront II*
  12. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  13. UFC 3
  14. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  15. FIFA 18*
  16. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse
  17. The Sims 4*
  18. Splatoon 2**
  19. Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT
  20. Need for Speed: Payback*

Nintendo Switch**

  1. Super Mario Odyssey
  2. Mario Kart 8
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  4. Splatoon 2
  5. Pokken Tournament DX
  6. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  7. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  8. ARMS
  9. Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  10. Doom 2016

Nintendo 3DS**

  1. Pokemon: Ultra Sun
  2. Pokemon: Ultra Moon
  3. Mario Kart 7
  4. Mario Party: The Top 100
  5. Minecraft
  6. Super Mario Maker
  7. Super Smash Bros.
  8. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions
  9. New Super Mario Bros. 2
  10. Kirby: Battle Royale

* No PC digital sales
** No digital sales

 

I have a couple of observations on the software front. First up, Dissidia for the PS4 did pretty horribly at retail as it barely made the top 20. UFC 3 for PS4 and Xbox One did remarkably well only have a few days of sales for the reporting period. I thought Madden might rank a bit higher since the Super Bowl was right around the corner. Grand Theft Auto V continues to impress and it’s amazing that it continues to rank in the top 10 month after month.

The usual suspects from Nintendo remain in the top 10: Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. It’s nice to see Splatoon 2 show up in the top 20. On the Switch top 10 it’s also refreshing to see Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Doom still seeing enough purchases to make the cut.

Overall the video game industry is healthy and seems to be continuing the trajectory set last year. The Switch continues to sell well and although the software lineup is a little weak over the next few months, I remain hopeful that the eShop will continue to deliver smaller hit games to keep the wait for larger games to a minimum.

 

[Source: ResetEra]

 

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He’s currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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