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August NPD Report: Madden 19 Steals Top Spot; Nintendo Switch Marches On

Antonio Brown Madden 19
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August NPD Report: Madden 19 Steals Top Spot; Nintendo Switch Marches On

The NPD Group has released its monthly NPD report for retail video game sales in August, and rather predictably, EA’s latest iteration of the Madden series dominates the charts. The title steals number one spot from Capcom’s Monster Hunter World, which makes a comeback after its PC launch. Over on the hardware side of things, Nintendo Switch continues to impress with strong sales, though Sony’s PS4 is still the best-selling console of the year, overall.

NPD’s video game analyst Mat Piscatela notes that since 2000, Madden NFL Football has been the best-selling game of August every year, with the exceptions of 2011 and 2012, when Madden NFL launched in the September tracking period. What’s especially notable about 2019, though, is that it marks the fastest-selling game of the entire series and the highest sales overall since Madden 2013.

Other big software takeaways from the NPD report see Grand Theft Auto V make its usual appearance in the top 10, and Rainbow Six Siege proves that it still has plenty left in the tank, too.

The following analysis from the NPD Group highlights the commercial performance of physical game media purchased either at retail or via an online sale over a four-week period Aug. 5 – Sept. 1. The NPG report gives us the opportunity to draw some informed conclusions about the state of the video game market in a given month, but it’s worth remembering that we don’t have the whole picture without digital sales.

Piscatela summarized the NPD report with the following breakdown:

August NPD Report: Market Analysis & Key Takeaways

  • August 2018 spending across video game Hardware, Software, Accessories, and Game Cards grew 26 percent when compared to a year ago, to $796m. Growth was achieved across all categories of spending.
  • YTD spending across video game Hardware, Software, Accessories, and Game Cards is up 17% when compared to the same period a year ago, to $7.5B. Growth has occurred across all categories of spending, with Accessories & Game Cards driving the largest dollar growth.
  • Dollar sales of Console, Portable and PC Games Software reached $330m in August 2018, 16 percent higher when compared to a year ago. Year-to-date software spending is up 6 percent versus year ago, to $3.1B.

August NPD Report: Software

  • Big growth for Madden NFL, PC takes Monster Hunter: World to #2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 returns to the top 10, all while Nintendo Switch sells the most hardware units.
  • Madden NFL 19 was the best-selling game of August 2018. Launch month sales of Madden NFL 19 are the highest achieved since the launch of Madden NFL 13.
  • Grand Theft Auto V ranked as the 4th best-selling game of Aug 2018 and is the 5th best-selling title YTD. August is Grand Theft Auto V’s 60th month in market, and is the 59th month it has appeared on the chart. GTAV remains the best-selling game in tracked history.
  • Monster Hunter: World returns to the best-sellers list in August driven by the release of the PC version on August 9th. Monster Hunter: World was the second best-selling game of August and remains the third-ranked best-selling game of 2018.
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 returns to the monthly best-sellers list in August at #8, driven by sales of the Xbox 360 version. COD: MW2 was added to the Xbox One Backward Compatible Game Library on August 28th. COD: MW2 ranked as July’s 321st best-selling title.
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege climbed the chart to become the third best-selling game of August. The performance was driven by the free play period that ran August 16-20 with the Six Major Paris 2018 Esports tournament and associated retail and digital promotion.
  • Electronic Arts is the top-selling Full Game software publisher of August. Nintendo retains the top-selling publisher ranking for 2018 year to date.

August NPD Report: Hardware

  • Hardware spending in August 2018 grew 28 percent when compared to a year ago, to $214m. PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One and Plug N Play devices such as the NES Classic Edition all posted year on year gains.
  • For the 2018 YTD period, hardware spending has increased 22 percent to $2.1B. Spending gains for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Plug N Play devices such as the NES Classic and SNES Classic have driven growth. HW spending remains at its highest level since 2011.
  • Nintendo Switch was August’s best-selling hardware platform in units sold.
  • Nintendo hardware unit and dollar sales are at the highest year-to-date totals since 2011. The Nintendo Switch Neon Red/Blue Joy Con 32GB is the year’s best-selling hardware item in both unit and dollar sales.
  • Year-to-date, Sony’s PlayStation 4 remains the best-selling console hardware platform in both dollars and units.
  • Aug 2018 dollar sales of Plug N Play consoles grew by a factor of 21x when compared to a year ago, and are now up over 400% YTD. The NES Classic Edition is the year’s best-selling Plug N Play console in units, while the SNES Classic Edition leads in dollar sales.

August NPD Report: Hardware Peripheral

  • Total spending on Accessories and Game Cards grew 39 percent in August 2018 when compared to a year ago, to $251m. This represents a record high for an August tracking period.
  • Year-to-date, Accessories and Game Card spending has grown 33 percent when compared to a year ago, to $2.3B. This is also an all-time high, significantly exceeding the $1.7B generated in the 2017 year-to-date period.
  • Gamepad and Headset sales continue to sizzle, each reaching year-to-date sales records in the month of August. Headset/Headphone sales are now up 88 percent in the year, while Gamepad sales have grown 26 percent.
  • Game Card spending continues to set records. Unit sales of Game Cards are up more than 50 percent in the year, while dollar sales growth exceeds 40 percent.

August NPD Report: Best-Selling Software Overall

  • Madden NFL 19
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Naruto To Boruto: Shinobi Striker
  • God of War
  • CoD: MW2
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Mario Odyssey
  • Minecraft
  • Crash Trilogy
  • Far Cry 5
  • Monster Hunter: Generations Ultimate
  • Call of Duty: WWII

August NPD Report: The Best-Selling Games of 2018 So Far

  • Far Cry 5
  • God of War
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Madden NFL 19 (New)
  • GTAV
  • CoD: WWII
  • Dragon Ball: FighterZ
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • NBA 2K18
  • Super Mario Odyssey

You can watch Mat Piscatella’s full breakdown of the NPD report in his monthly video analysis. You can check out last month’s NPD report here.

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