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April ends 13 months of US games growth | US Monthly Charts

Nintendo's Switch led the way in unit and dollar sales for April but overall spending dipped 2%

Today, the industry-tracking NPD Group reported its results for April, showing US game spending has seen it's first month of loss after 13 months of growth -- albeit a dip of 2%.

Last month, the US spent $4.7 billion on games products. Hardware saw the biggest loss, down 30% year-on-year to $296 million.

Nintendo's Switch led the way in terms of both unit sales and dollar sales for the month. Additionally, shortages for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S continue which has limited the sales of both consoles.

As for software, total gaming content spending across console, mobile, PC, cloud, and subscription services was up 12% to $4.1 billion.

March chart topper Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (physical sales only) was dethroned by the debut of MLB: The Show 21 in April and dropping to second place.

The month saw a number of new releases, as Nintendo's Switch-exclusive New Pokemon Snap was third on the charts, with the Square Enix's RPG remaster Nier Replicant arrived in fifth. Joining them was also Housemarque's roguelike shooter Returnal which debuted at eighth place.

Mortal Kombat 11 ranked sixth place on the best sellers list in April, which is the first time it charted in the top ten since coming in at 9th place back in July 2020.

Finally, accessories spending declined 23% to $168 million, with the PS5 DualSense controller continuing to be the best-selling peripheral of the month.

Last year, the NPD reported April spending on games up 35% year-over-year. (At the time, the NPD's monthly report did not include mobile spending, subscriptions, and other major contributors to the consumer spending figure that have since been added.)

Here are the US Top 20 (based on dollar sales) for the period between April 4, 2021 and May 1, 2021, courtesy of The NPD Group:

Last Month This Month Title
NEW 1 MLB: The Show 21^
1 2 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War
NEW 3 New Pokemon Snap*
3 4 Outriders
NEW 5 NieR: Replicant
14 6 Mortal Kombat 11
2 7 Monster Hunter: Rise
NEW 8 Returnal
22 9 It Takes Two
6 10 Mario Kart 8*
11 11 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
5 12 Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony)
4 13 Super Mario 3D World*
10 14 Minecraft
8 15 Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
9 16 Super Mario 3D All-Stars*
12 17 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
7 18 Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
13 19 Pokemon: Sword/Shield*
16 20 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*

*Digital sales not included

^Xbox digital sales not included

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Jeffrey Rousseau avatar
Jeffrey Rousseau: Jeffrey joined in March 2021. Based in Florida, his work focused on the intersectionality of games and media. He enjoys reading, podcasts, staying informed, and learning how people are tackling issues.
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