UFC 4 | Source: Electronic Arts (EA)

It’s been a big week for video game news as preorders for Sony’s Playstation 5 console came and went while jamming retailer websites across the country. The holiday season launch of that console and Microsoft’s competing Xbox Series X and Series S units should bode well in terms of dollars spent at the register, albeit by selling hardware that encourages digital downloads, and with thin margins at that. In the meantime, the amount of games being played in the COVID-19 era continues to grow.

According to The NPD Group, August consumer spending across video game hardware, content (software), and accessories hit $3.3 billion, an increase of 37% over the same month last year. The big win was in digital content, including mobile content and subscription spending.

As usual, the latest title in the Madden NFL franchise was a full-on blitz, securing the top spot in its launch month for the 21st consecutive year. Madden NFL 21 had double-digit sales growth when compared to the release of last year’s Madden NFL 20. UFC 4 hit the streets in the No. 2 slot while Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019), Ghost of Tsushima, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons rounded out the top five.

Microsoft’s latest consoles will go up for preorder on Sept. 22.