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September NPD Report: Record Breaking Spider-Man Sweeps the Competition Aside

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September NPD Report: Record Breaking Spider-Man Sweeps the Competition Aside

The NPD Group has released its monthly report for video game industry hardware and software sales. In September, and to the surprise of absolutely nobody, Marvel’s Spider-Man dominates the video game charts. In fact, it’s broken new records for PlayStation, and that success drove PS4 console sales, with the system ending the month as the best-selling hardware.

Spider-Man had long been predicted to enjoy commercial success before its launch due to the popularity of the license, and those predictions only became more bullish after it received critical acclaim. We’ve already seen it top the charts in Japan and the UK, and according to NPD’s Mat Piscatella, Spider-Man has broken records in the US. He confirmed:

“(Marvel’s Spider-Man) achieved the highest launch month dollar sales for any PlayStation exclusive in history, and is the seventh largest launch ever achieved by any game on any PlayStation platform.”

Other big takeaways on the software side include a strong performance from NBA 2k18, which ended the month as runner-up. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey slots in at number three, while Shadow of the Tomb Raider achieved the second highest launch month dollar sales for the franchise (behind the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot), despite only reaching number five spot. Forza Horizon 4 also enjoyed the series’ best launch yet.

Destiny 2 surprises by re-entering the charts at number eight following its latest expansion, Forsaken. Notably, it was also a PS Plus “free” game in September.

Let’s take a look at the full breakdown.

The following statistics highlight the commercial performance of video game hardware and software purchased either at retail or via an online sale over a four-week period Sept. 1 – Oct. 5. NPD’s report allows us to draw 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 all digital sales included.

September NPD Report: Market Analysis & Key Takeaways

General overview

  • September 2018 tracked spending across video game Hardware, Software, Accessories and Game Cards grew 7 percent when compared to a year ago, to $1.4 billion. Accessory and Game Card spending was the primary driver of growth.
  • Year-to-date spending across video game hardware, software, Accessories and Game Cards is up 16 percent when compared to the same period a year ago, to $8.9 billion. Growth has occurred across all categories of spending, with Accessories and Game Cards driving the largest dollar growth.
  • Dollar sales of console, portable and PC games software reached $747 million in September 2018, flat when compared to a year ago. Year-to-date software spending is up 5 percent versus a year ago, to $3.9 billion.

September NPD Report: Software

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man achieved launch month sales 37 percent higher than the combined launch month sales of all other Spider-Man games released since The NPD Group began tracking in 1995.
  • NBA 2K19 debuts as the #2 best-selling game of September, and instantly becomes the 5th best-selling game of 2018. NBA 2K19 achieved the highest launch month dollar sales of any Sports genre game released since The NPD Group began tracking the industry in 1995.
  • NBA 2K19 represents the biggest launch of any game in the NBA 2K franchise, and it is now the best-selling Sports game of 2018 year to date.
  • Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey appears at #3 on the Sept charts with double-digit % dollar sales growth when compared to the launch of Assassin’s Creed: Origins a year ago. Assassin’s Creed: Origins now ranks as the 6th best-selling game over the past 12 months.
  • Forza Horizon 4 achieved the highest launch month dollar sales in Forza franchise history and is the biggest launch for a racing game on any Xbox platform in history. Forza Horizon 4 was the seventh best-selling game of September.
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider enters the charts as the fifth best-selling game of September, achieving the second highest launch month dollar sales for the franchise following only Tomb Raider, which launched in 2013.
  • FIFA 19 launches at number 4 on the September charts, with higher launch month dollar sales than any release in the franchise since FIFA 16, and the third highest launch month dollar sales for any soccer game in history.

September NPD Report: Hardware

  • Hardware spending in September 2018 fell 3 percent when compared to a year ago, to $306 million. Significant gains in spending on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One hardware were offset by declines across all other platforms.
  • For the 2018 year-to-date period, hardware spending has increased 18 percent to $2.4 billion. Spending gains for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and plug-n-play devices such as the NES Classic and SNES Classic have driven growth.
  • PlayStation 4 was September’s best-selling hardware platform in both units and dollars sold. PlayStation 4 hardware achieved the highest September unit sell-through for a non-plug-n-play console since the PS4 in 2014.
  • Sony’s PlayStation 4 remains the best-selling console hardware platform year to date. The PS4 Slim System 1TB was the month’s best-selling hardware item in both dollars and units.
  • Xbox One hardware dollar sales in September grew more than 30 percent when compared to a year ago, and are now up more than 60 percent year to date.
  • The Xbox One X System 1TB Black is the best-selling Xbox One hardware item of the year in both dollars and units sold.

September NPD Report: Hardware Peripheral

  • Total spending on Accessories and Game Cards grew 43 percent in September 2018 when compared to a year ago, to an all-time high of $323 million.
  • Year to date, Accessories and Game Card spending has grown 35 percent when compared to a year ago, to $2.6 billion. This is also an all-time high, significantly exceeding the $1.9 billion generated in the 2017 year to date period.
  • For the first time in tracked history, both September and year-to-date Game Card spending now exceeds that of Accessories.

September NPD Report: Best-Selling Software Overall

  1. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  2. NBA 2K19
  3. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  4. FIFA 19
  5. Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  6. Madden NFL 19
  7. Forza Horizon 4
  8. Destiny 2
  9. Super Mario Party
  10. NHL 19
  11. Dragon Quest XI
  12. WWE 2K19
  13. Grand Theft Auto V
  14. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  15. Naruto To Boruto: Shinobi Striker

September NPD Report: Best-Selling Xbox One Games

  1. NBA 2K19
  2. Forza Horizon 4
  3. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  4. FIFA 19
  5. Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  6. Destiny 2
  7. Madden NFL 19
  8. NHL 19
  9. WWE 2K19
  10. Grand Theft Auto V

September NPD Report: Best-Selling PS4 Games

  1. Spider-Man
  2. NBA 2K19
  3. FIFA 19
  4. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  5. Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  6. Madden NFL 19
  7. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
  8. Destiny 2
  9. NHL 19
  10. WWE 2K19

September NPD Report: Best-Selling Nintendo Switch Games

  1. Super Mario Party
  2. Mario Kart 8
  3. Super Mario Odyssey
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  5. Mega Man 11
  6. Mario Tennis Aces
  7. Splatoon 2
  8. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  9. Monster Hunter: Generations Ultimate
  10. Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy

September NPD Report: Best-Selling Nintendo 3DS Games

  1. Pokemon Ultra Sun
  2. Pokemon Ultra Moon
  3. Mario Kart 7
  4. Super Smash Bros.
  5. Minecraft
  6. Super Mario 3D Land
  7. Yo-Kai Watch Blasters: Red Cat Corps
  8. Warioware: Gold
  9. Mario Party: The Top 100
  10. Yo-Kai Watch Blasters: White Dog Squad

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

  1. Far Cry 5
  2. God of War
  3. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  4. Monster Hunter: World
  5. NBA 2K19
  6. Madden NFL 19
  7. Grand Theft Auto V
  8. Call of Duty: WWII
  9. Dragon Ball FighterZ
  10. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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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