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August 2017 NPD: Madden NFL 18 spikes the sales charts

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Video game spending is down in the U.S. in August. The only exception to the downward trend is the accessories category, which is up 10 percent according to the industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. And it was a good month for Electronic Arts, too.

Consumers spent a total of $282 million on software for both PC and consoles last month, down 3 percent from the year before. EA was the best-selling publisher in August, and Madden NFL 18, which debuted on August 25, was the overall top-selling game for the month as well as for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Here are the numbers for August 2017:

  • Total: $568 million (down 2 percent from $578 million in August 2016)
  • Hardware: $168 million (down 6 percent from $179 million)
  • Console software: $271 million (down 2 percent from $276 million)
  • PC software: $11 million (down 23 percent from $15 million)
  • Accessories: $118 million (up 10 percent from $108 million)

“Total video game spending in August 2017, which includes hardware, software and accessories, fell 2 percent versus year ago to $568 million,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Growth in accessories spending was offset by declines in both hardware and software spending.”

The NPD report doesn’t cover total market spend, as it is missing certain data (such as digital sales from Blizzard’s store on its Battle.net service). It is more of a snapshot of the market as a whole, using data from participating publishers and platforms. Certain marked games only include physical sales.

Software

Overall

  1. Madden NFL 18
  2. Grand Theft Auto V
  3. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  4. Splatoon 2*
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  6. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  7. Mario Kart 8*
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
  9. Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy
  10. Overwatch**
  11. Injustice 2
  12. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  13. Minecraft
  14. For Honor
  15. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  16. Agents Of Mayhem
  17. Forza Horizon 3
  18. Battlefield 1
  19. NBA 2K17
  20. UFC 2

* No digital sales
** No Battle.net sales

Nintendo’s Splatoon 2 debuted at the top of the charts in July, but it was bumped down to No. 4 by EA’S Madden NFL 18. Naughty Dog’s Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, which released on August 22 as a PS4 exclusive, also showed strong sales and landed at No. 3. This is counting only standalone sales and not when it was bundled with the Uncharted 4 Digital Deluxe Edition or the Uncharted 4 Explorer’s Pack.

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V, which has been in the No. 3 slot for the last three months, is back up to No. 2. It’s now broken the record for how long it’s been in the top 10.

“Grand Theft Auto V has now been on the market 49 months and has achieved 41 Top 10 chart appearances, 16 more times than any other single title in reported history,” said Piscatella. “In addition, Grand Theft Auto V is the all-time best-selling game by both revenue and units in tracked sales across PC, console and portable with digital and packaged combined.”

NPD reports that racing games have seen a resurgence since August 2016, growing more than 80 percent thanks primarily to Nintendo’s Mario Kart 8 and Forza Horizon 3. Conversely, the shooter genre has declined in the same period of time.

“The shooter genre has experienced a 30 percent sales decline in 2017 year to date, but this is coming off a record high in spending for the genre over the same period a year ago,” Piscatella said. “Despite the decline, 2017 year-to-date consumer sales for the shooter genre are the third highest of all-time, trailing only the year to date periods in 2013 and 2016.”

Xbox One

  1. Madden NFL 18
  2. Grand Theft Auto V
  3. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
  4. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  5. Forza Horizon 3
  6. Overwatch**
  7. Injustice 2
  8. Minecraft
  9. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  10. For Honor

PlayStation 4

  1. Madden NFL 18
  2. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  3. Grand Theft Auto V
  4. Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy
  5. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  6. MLB 17: The Show
  7. Overwatch**
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
  9. Injustice 2
  10. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Nintendo Switch

  1. Splatoon 2*
  2. Mario Kart 8*
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  4. ARMS*
  5. 1-2 Switch*
  6. Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers*
  7. Just Dance 2017*
  8. Lego City Undercover*
  9. Cars 3: Driven to Win*
  10. Minecraft: Story Mode The Complete Adventure*

Nintendo 3DS

  1. Miitopia*
  2. Hey! Pikmin*
  3. Pokemon: Sun*
  4. Super Smash Bros.*
  5. Super Mario Maker*
  6. Pokemon: Moon*
  7. Mario Kart 7*
  8. Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia*
  9. Mario Sports Superstars*
  10. New Super Mario Bros. 2*

The best-selling games of 2017 so far

  1. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  3. Grand Theft Auto V
  4. For Honor
  5. Horizon Zero Dawn
  6. Injustice 2
  7. Mass Effect: Andromeda
  8. Madden NFL 18
  9. NBA 2K17
  10. Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

The best-selling games over the last 12 months

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  2. Battlefield 1
  3. NBA 2K17
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. Madden NFL 17
  6. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  7. FIFA 17
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  9. Final Fantasy XV
  10. For Honor

Hardware & accessories

Strong sales continue for the Nintendo Switch, which was the best-selling platform last month. It’s been jostling with Sony’s PlayStation 4 since its launch in March; it was the best-selling platform except for May and June, which went to the PS4. Year to date, the PS4 is the best-selling console.

Despite hardware sales being down 6 percent compared to last August, they’re still up year to date.

“Year to date, hardware spending has grown 17 percent versus 2016 to $1.7 billion,” said Piscatella. “Consumer spending on Nintendo Switch and plug ‘n’ play devices such as the NES Classic are providing growth.”

Accessories continue their upward swing from July, when they grew 9 percent. Last month, the sector grew 10 percent as compared to August 2016.

“The Xbox One S White Wireless Controller was the best-selling accessory of the month, while the Switch Pro Controller is the best-selling accessory year to date,” said Piscatella.

Year to date, the biggest players have been Sony, who has seen the highest sales overall in the sector, and Turtle Beach, who’s been the best seller in headphones and headsets.

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