According to The NPD Group’s September US games industry sales report, consumer spending on video game hardware, content and accessories reached a September record of $4.4 billion, a 3 percent increase when compared to a year ago. Year-to-date (YTD) consumer spending reached $42.3 billion, a 12 percent increase when compared to the same period in 2020.
Starting with hardware, NPD found that September sales surged 49 percent year-over-year (YoY) to $412 million while YTD hardware spending also gained 49 percent when compared to the same period a year ago, totaling $3.4 billion.
September’s best-selling hardware platform in both units and dollars was PlayStation 5. In dollars, PlayStation 5 is also the best-selling hardware platform of 2021 YTD, while Nintendo Switch leads in units.
This month marks the end of Nintendo Switch’s 33-month streak as the market’s leading platform in hardware unit sales. The last month that a platform other than Nintendo Switch dominated the market in unit sales—PlayStation 4—was November 2018.
The full-game dollar sales September spotlight is on Madden NFL 22, the best-selling game of the month and the second best-selling game of 2021 YTD. The game was the best-selling game in September on both PlayStation and Xbox.
Tales of Arise set a new launch month dollar sales record for any Tales Of franchise release, coming in as the fourth best-selling game of September according to NPD.
Life is Strange: True Colors, which launched in September, was the 10th best-selling game and generated the highest launch month dollar sales for any Life is Strange title to date.
WarioWare: Get It Together, which also debuted in September, landed the 15th spot for the overall best-selling game of the month, while also ranking second on Nintendo Switch. In addition, it achieved the highest launch month sales for a WarioWare franchise release since WarioWare Smooth Moves debuted on Nintendo Wii in January 2007.
Moving on to mobile spending, data for which was provided by Sensor Tower, the NPD reports the market exceeded $2 billion in consumer spending in eight of the nine months of 2021 to date including September. The average monthly mobile gaming spending is about 28 percent higher than that experienced in the first nine months of 2020.
September’s strong mobile games performance in the US was in part due to the second highest-earning title, MiHoYo’s Genshin Impact, which celebrated its one-year launch anniversary with spending up nearly 120 percent month over month.
Among the top-performing mobile titles in the US by consumer spending in September were: Candy Crush Saga, Genshin Impact, Roblox, Coin Master, Garena Free Fire, Pokemon GO, Homescapes, Clash of Clans, Bingo Blitz and Candy Crush Soda Saga.
When compared to a year ago, September spending on video game accessories dropped 12 percent to $171 million. YTD accessory sales reached $1.8 billion, a 9 percent increase YoY.
Once again, the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Coordinator was the best-selling accessory of September, while the PS5 DualSense Wireless Controller White remains the top-selling accessory of 2021 YTD.
The NPD Group’s total video game sales figure reflects total content spend on video games, including full-game, downloadable content, microtransactions and subscription consumer spending across console, cloud, mobile, portable, PC and VR platforms. For its assessment of the broader consumer spend on the industry, the NPD utilizes its monthly point-of-sale tracking services and consumer data from other NPD trackers, monitors and reports.