The NPD Group has released its monthly report for on new physical video game sales, as well as a subset of full-game digital downloads from participating publishers in NPD’s digital panel. Although not intended to cover total market/total consumer spend, the figures give us an idea of industry-wide trends.
April saw an 18 percent increase in spending across the hardware, software and accessories verticals, reaching $823 million. Year-to-date spending is also up across all categories, rising 15 percent year over year to $4.2 billion.
God Of War Brutalizes The Market
Sony’s critically acclaimed first-party title God of War swept the categories for the month, achieving the title of April’s best-selling game despite the fact that it’s only available for the PlayStation 4.
“Sony was April’s top-selling publisher, driven by the success of God of War,” said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. “The PS4 exclusive from Santa Monica Studios achieved the highest ever launch month dollar sales for a title launched exclusively on a PlayStation platform.”
Indeed, sales for God of War helped the PlayStation 4 set the all-time record for April game sales on any platform, a record last set by the Xbox 360 back in 2008.
Far Cry 5 Continues Its Reign
Ubisoft’s flagship Far Cry franchise, despite losing the number-one spot for game sales, is still on top for year-to-date figures, remaining the top selling game of the year. Additionally, Ubisoft is the top-selling publisher of the year, helped by the continued success of its Tom Clancy titles.
Total software sales reached $359 million for the month of April, up 13 percent year-over-year. Year-to-date software sales hit $1.9 billion, a growth of 9 percent.
Consoles Continue Steady Growth
Hardware spending showed few surprises this month, increasing 15 percent to $225 million for the month and jumping 14 percent to $1.2 billion for the year.
“Spending gains for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Plug N Play devices such as the SNES Classic have driven growth,” added Piscatella. “Sony’s PlayStation 4 was the best-selling console hardware platform in April, and remains the best-selling console hardware platform year to date.”
The PlayStation 4 system set another decade-old record, beating out the Nintendo Wii from 2008 as the highest April dollar sales for a console.
Continuing a trend from last month, sales of headsets and headphones are significantly higher than they were a year ago, totaling an 89 percent growth over April 2017.