Home PC News October 2020 NPD: Nintendo and FIFA power gaming’s growth

October 2020 NPD: Nintendo and FIFA power gaming’s growth

Gaming fans in the United States didn’t shy away from spending on their hobby in the month before the launch of next-gen consoles. Instead, consumers opened their wallets for big sports games and Nintendo Switch in October. This once again led to year-over-year growth for games-industry spending in the U.S., according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group.

October 2020 Dollar Sales, MillionsOct’19Oct’20CHG
Total Video Game Sales$3,358$3,83614%
Video Game Hardware$183$25941%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms)$3,054$3,42912%
Video Game Accessories$121$14823%

Gaming continues to prove its resilience in the face of tumultuous economic times for most people. Industry sales were up in October and the year-so-far compared to the same period in 2019.

“Consumer spending across video game hardware, content, and accessories reached $3.8 billion in October 2020, 14% higher when compared to a year ago,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Mobile, subscription, hardware, and accessories were among the largest growth segments. Year-to-date spending totaled $37.5 billion, 20% higher than the same period in 2019.”

2020 Year-to-Date Dollar Sales, Millions2019 YTD2020 YTDCHG
Total Video Game Sales$31,260$37,49520%
Video Game Hardware$2,062$2,54223%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms)$27,798$33,19519%
Video Game Accessories$1,400$1,75725%

Let’s get to the software sales.

October 2020 NPD: Nintendo Switch leads hardware

NPD tracks physical sales at retailers, but it also gets digital data directly from publishers. But not every company participates. For example, Nintendo doesn’t share its first-party digital sales, and Activision Blizzard does not provide its Battle.net sales, and Take-Two doesn’t always share its digital sales.

All Platforms
RankLast Month RankOctober 2020 Top 20 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar salesPublisher
1NEWFIFA 21Electronic Arts
23Madden NFL 21Electronic Arts
3NEWWatch Dogs: LegionUbisoft
4NEWNHL 21Electronic Arts
5NEWMario Kart Live: Home CircuitNintendo
62Super Mario 3D All-Stars*Nintendo
78Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
89Star Wars: SquadronsElectronic Arts
96Call of Duty: Modern WarfareActivision Blizzard (Corp)
1011Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About TimeActivision Blizzard (Corp)
1110Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*Nintendo
1212Ghost of TsushimaSony (Corp)
135NBA 2K21*Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
141Marvel’s AvengersSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
1514Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*Nintendo
1613Ring Fit AdventureNintendo
1717The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*Nintendo
184Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2Activision Blizzard (Corp)
1920Super Mario Party*Nintendo
2016New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe*Nintendo

It was another strong month for Nintendo software.

“Nine of the top 20 best-selling titles of October were published by Nintendo,” said Piscatella.

But EA Sports games FIFA 21, Madden NFL 21, and NHL 21 made up three of the top four spots on the chart.

FIFA 21

FIFA usually performs well on the NPD charts, but its October 2020 performance suggests the growing appeal of the brand in the United States.

“FIFA 21 was the best-selling game of October, the first time a FIFA franchise release has launched at No. 1 in the U.S. market,” said Piscatella. “FIFA 21 was the best-selling game of October on both PlayStation and Xbox platforms.”

Watch Dogs: Legion

Watch Dogs: Legion launched October 29, which put it at the end of the reporting period. But it was still able to work its way near the top of the chart.

“Watch Dogs: Legion debuted as the third best-selling game of October, despite having only three days of sales tracking in the month,” said Piscatella. “Watch Dogs: Legion was the second best-selling game of the month on Xbox platforms, and third best-selling game of the month on PlayStation platforms.

NHL 21

October was also a strong month for EA’s hockey game.

“NHL 21 entered the charts as the fourth best-selling game of October,” said Piscatella. “Launch month dollar sales were the highest for an NHL release since the September 2015 launch of NHL 16.”

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

Nintendo’s remote-controlled Mario Kart toy/game also debuted in October. This $100 bundle comes with an AR-powered car, and that price tag didn’t prevent it from getting off to a fast start.

“Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit ranked as the fifth best-selling game of October, and was the best-selling game on Nintendo platforms,” said Piscatella.

Best-selling games so far in 2020

RankLast Month RankYear-to-Date Ending October 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar salesPublisher
11Call of Duty: Modern WarfareActivision Blizzard (Corp)
22Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
34Madden NFL 21Electronic Arts
43The Last of Us: Part IISony (Corp)
55Ghost of TsushimaSony (Corp)
66Final Fantasy VII: RemakeSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
77Marvel’s AvengersSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
810Super Mario 3D All-Stars*Nintendo
911Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*Nintendo
108Dragon Ball Z: KakarotBandai Namco Entertainment
* Digital sales not included

Best-selling games of the last 12 months

RankLast Month Rank12 Months Ending October 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar salesPublisher
11Call of Duty: Modern WarfareActivision Blizzard (Corp)
22Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen OrderElectronic Arts
33Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
46Madden NFL 21Electronic Arts
55The Last of Us: Part IISony (Corp)
64Madden NFL 20Electronic Arts
78Ghost of TsushimaSony (Corp)
87Pokemon: Sword*Nintendo
99Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*Nintendo
1011Final Fantasy VII: RemakeSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

October 2020 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Nintendo games

RankLast Month RankOctober 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar salesPublisher
1NEWMario Kart Live: Home CircuitNintendo
21Super Mario 3D All-Stars*Nintendo
32Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
43Mario Kart 8: Deluxe*Nintendo
55Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*Nintendo
64Ring Fit AdventureNintendo
77The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*Nintendo
89Super Mario Party*Nintendo
96New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe*Nintendo
10NEWPikmin 3*Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

October 2020 NPD: Top 10 best-selling PlayStation games

RankLast Month RankOctober 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar salesPublisher
1NEWFIFA 21Electronic Arts
23Madden NFL 21Electronic Arts
3NEWWatch Dogs: LegionUbisoft
45Ghost of TsushimaSony (Corp)
5NEWNHL 21Electronic Arts
67Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About TimeActivision Blizzard (Corp)
76Call of Duty: Modern WarfareActivision Blizzard (Corp)
88Star Wars: SquadronsElectronic Arts
94NBA 2K21*Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
101Marvel’s AvengersSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

October 2020 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Xbox games

RankLast Month RankOctober 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar salesPublisher
1NEWFIFA 21Electronic Arts
2NEWWatch Dogs: LegionUbisoft
32Madden NFL 21Electronic Arts
4NEWNHL 21Electronic Arts
56Star Wars: SquadronsElectronic Arts
65Call of Duty: Modern WarfareActivision Blizzard (Corp)
78Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About TimeActivision Blizzard (Corp)
84NBA 2K21*Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
91Marvel’s AvengersSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
103Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2Activision Blizzard (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

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