It’s Madden season, but beyond the annual update to the long-running NFL title, the video game industry is in a slump as we approach the end of the current console cycle. The bright spots, according to the NPD Group’s August video game sales report, are largely led by Nintendo, with Switch sales and software soaring despite the overall decline.
Overall sales for the entire video game category including hardware, software, and accessories was $666 million, an 18% decline versus last year. In terms of overall software sales, this August’s $257 million was a 22% decrease from the same period last year, and the lowest total software sales in August since 1998 ($234 million).
Madden NFL 20 scored the top spot in software sales for a second month, already taking its spot as the third best-selling game of the year. This is the seventh consecutive year that a Madden NFL title held the top spot in August.
Notably, five of the top 10 titles for the month, and nine of the top 20 are Nintendo platform exclusives.
TOP 20 VIDEO GAME TITLES | August 2019 (ALL PLATFORMS)
- Madden NFL 20 | Electronic Arts
- Minecraft | Multi
- Grand Theft Auto V | Take 2 Interactive
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses | Nintendo
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate | Nintendo
- Super Mario Maker 2 | Nintendo
- Mario Kart 8 | Nintendo
- Mortal Kombat 11 | Warner Bros. Interactive
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege | Ubisoft
- Astral Chain | Nintendo
- Marvel’s Spider-Man | Sony
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild | Nintendo
- Red Dead Redemption II | Take 2 Interactive
- Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII | Activision Blizzard
- Age of Wonders: Planetfall | Paradox Interactive
- Super Mario Party | Nintendo
- Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order | Nintendo
- New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe | Nintendo
- The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan | Bandai Namco Games
- Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey | Ubisoft
The Nintendo Switch remains the top-selling console of the year, with double-digit growth for both the month and year-to-date. Hardware spending declined 22% overall in August when compared to last year.
Overall year-to-date spending for the video game industry as a whole is down 6% at a flat $7 billion.
With most new consoles set for release next year, more challenging months lie ahead, with further declines expected in hardware sales. Still, some big game releases going into the holidays should give software a bit of a boost to offset the overall declines.