The NPD Group has posted its numbers for November 2015’s U.S. video game retail and digital sales, and marking a strong month for the holiday season. Liam Callahan, analyst for the Group, reported that “across physical software, hardware and accessories, sales experience a growth of two percent this November compared to November 2014. Growth in hardware and accessories helped offset software declines, leading to overall growth.”
In addition, “video games increased its share of spend on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday (versus last year), making it one of the top performing categories at retail over the holiday weekend.”
Not everything was positive, as portable hardware saw a 31 percent drop over the previous sales period. However, console hardware sales were up 14 percent, with Sony’s PlayStation 4 leading the charge over Microsoft’s Xbox One and Nintendo’s Wii U. Total unit sales overall surpassed last year’s numbers with ease.
As for game sales, “new physical software sales decreased by seven percent as portable software sales drop 66 percent with console software sales down a modest one percent,” Callahan added. “Eighth generation software sales increased by 37 percent, and largely offset the decrease in spending for (previous) generation consoles, which decreased by 60 percent.”
As for games, “Call of Duty: Black Ops III was the top title in November 2015 with sales exceeding that of its predecessor. Fallout 4 performed extremely as, adjusting for days within the data month, this was the best Fallout launch in the history of the franchise, having sold over 70 percent more units than New Vegas and nine percent more units than Fallout 3.”
Star Wars: Battlefront also performed admirably, selling 21 percent higher than the previously released Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and showing plenty of strength in the franchise, in time for next week’s premiere of The Force Awakens.
When it comes to accessories, “gamepads, point/subscription cards and headset/headphones helped increase overall accessory sales by seven percent from November 2014 to 2015,” said Callahan. “November 2015 was the third best-selling month ever for video game points and subscription cards,” which points to a bigger push in sales for digital/downloadable games on consoles and PC.
The top ten games for November 2015 are as follows:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Activision)
- Fallout 4 (Bethesda)
- Star Wars: Battlefront (EA)
- Madden NFL 16 (EA Sports)
- NBA 2K16 (2K)
- FIFA 16 (EA Sports)
- Need For Speed (EA)
- Halo 5: Guardians (Microsoft)
- Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate (Ubisoft)
- Just Dance 2016 (Ubisoft)
Overall, total video game sales for the month reached $2.47 billion, a small but steady rise from the $2.42 billion the year before. Game hardware reached $1.12 billion; software sales dropped to $993.9 million, and accessories reached $357.7 million.
Which goes to show that video games are still the hot seller for the holiday season, in spite of format.