NPD has released its monthly video game sales report for September 2016, and it was definitely the month for sports games with NBA 2K17, NHL 17 and FIFA 17 launching at number one, three and four, respectively. Despite these popular releases, overall software sales were down 23 percent over September last year. In fact, every category (hardware, software and accessories) saw a decline year-over-year except for PC software, which saw an increase of three percent.
Sony’s PS4 Slim released in September, but the new console, together with other video game hardware, brought in sales of just $234.3 million compared to $311.7 million in September 2015. Xbox One was the best-selling hardware for the month and accounted for 37 percent of all hardware units sold. Not surprisingly, Xbox One accessories experienced a surge thanks to the release of an Xbox One Elite controller and the new Xbox One S controller. Unfortunately, the new Xbox One S and its accessories were unable to offset declines in spending from other systems, with an overall decline of 10 percent over last year.
NPD’s video game industry analyst, Sam Naji notes that despite a drop in Wii U sales, Nintendo is experiencing renewed interest in the 3DS. “The 3DS experienced its fourth consecutive month of increased hardware unit sales compared to last year,” said Naji. “Since the release of Pokémon GO back in July 2016, the 3DS has experienced a resurgence in hardware spending.”
As predicted, No Man’s Sky experienced a strong launch in August but did not make the top ten following controversy over advertising practices. September was a strong month for 2K’s annual sports titles, and Madden NFL 17 still experienced strong sales in its second month. Amazingly, Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V remains in the top ten month after month, although it dropped three spots to number seven.
The NPD’s top 10 best-selling games for September 2016 are:
- NBA 2K 17
- Madden NFL 17
- FIFA 17
- NHL 17
- Bioshock: The Collection
- Destiny: The Collection
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Forza Horizon 3*
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Asterisks indicate that digital sales were not accounted for (or purchases made on Battle.net, in the case of Overwatch).
“Interactive gaming toy (IGT) accessory spending reached $13M, which is 75 percent less than a year ago,” Naji reported. “Last year, Lego Dimensions launched, Skylanders: SuperChargers released and there were 13 new Amiibos. This year, the new Skylanders accessory, Skylanders: Imaginators, is expected to release in October 2016 and no new Amiibos launched in September 2016.”
In fact, total accessory spending (excluding Point Cards) saw a decline of 30 percent compared to September 2015. With no new interactive releases in September, consumers spent $47 million less than they did last year.