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NPD February: Elden Ring Tops Software Charts & Is 2022’s Biggest Launch So Far

NPD February
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NPD February: Elden Ring Tops Software Charts & Is 2022’s Biggest Launch So Far

In addition to its impressive critical reception, Elden Ring has enjoyed a hugely positive launch according to The NPD Group, as the details of the company’s February report tracking U.S video game spending have been shared today by executive director & video game industry advisor Matt Piscatella. As usual, in addition to software numbers, we also get a look at the overall trends shaping the market in 2022, including hardware and accessory performance.

The big takeaway is that while many of those trends remain a constant from previous months, the overall market is on the decline from the highs seen during the COVID-19 stay-at-home boon over the past two years.

Below is an overview of Piscatella’s report from Twitter, including infographics and charts, with key snippets highlighted.

Overall Spending

February 2022 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories fell 6% when compared to a year ago, to $4.4B. Declines were experienced across all major categories of spend, with hardware showing the largest YoY % decline.

2022 year-to-date spending is down 4% when compared to the same period a year ago, at $9.1B. Console hardware supply continues to be a market challenge. Total market spending, when compared to a year ago, has now declined for 4 consecutive months.

Hardware

Video game hardware dollar sales fell 27% when compared to February 2021, to $295 million. Year-to-date dollar sales are 5% lower than a year ago, at $685 million. The hardware market remains in a supply constrained state.

Switch was the best-selling hardware platform of February 2022 in both units and dollars. Xbox Series ranked 2nd across both measures.

“PlayStation 5 leads video game hardware in 2022 dollar sales year-to-date, while Switch has achieved the highest unit sales in the period.”

Software

“Elden Ring debuted as both the best-selling game of February 2022 as well as 2022 YTD. Launch month sales of Elden Ring were the 2nd highest for any tracked title released in the past 12 months, trailing only Call of Duty: Vanguard, released in Nov 2021.”

After 1 month in market, Elden Ring ranked as the 5th best-selling game of the 12 month period ending February 2022. Elden Ring ranked 1st on Steam and Xbox platforms in February, while placing 2nd on PlayStation.

“Horizon II: Forbidden West was the 2nd best-selling game of February 2022, while also ranking 1st on PlayStation platforms. Dollar sales of the PlayStation 5 version of Horizon II: Forbidden West set a new launch month record for the PlayStation 5 platform.”

“Total War: Warhammer III debuted as the #5 best-selling game of February 2022, while also ranking 2nd on Steam. The title also launched as part of the PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription services.”

Mobile (Sensor Tower)

February 2022 was the first time that  February spending was down year-over-year since the start of the pandemic, in this case by 2.5%.

“While the decline is a sign the pandemic-fueled spending surge across mobile games is receding, there’s still plenty to be optimistic about in the category, which has seen a healthy influx of successful launches and new top earning titles.”

“The top 10 earning mobile titles in the U.S. for February 2022 ranked by spending were: Candy Crush Saga, Roblox, Coin Master, Genshin Impact, Pokémon GO, Garena Free Fire, Evony: The King’s Return, Clash of Clans, Homescapes, and Royal Match.”

Accessories

February 2022 spending on video game accessories fell 7% when compared to a year ago, to $180 million. Thus far in 2022, dollar sales of video game accessories have fallen 11%, to $365 million.

The Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the best-selling accessory of both February as well as 2022 year-to-date.

The below slideshow features data on the best-selling software in March and year-to-date.

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