GTA V drives US console software sales up 52%

NPD results reveal a huge September for the retail side of the industry thanks to Rockstar's record-breaking performance

With GTA V quickly exceeding worldwide revenues of $1 billion in just three days, it should come as little surprise that NPD's US retail report is actually good... quite good. Total industry sales climbed 27 percent to $1.079 billion, while console and portable software sales jumped 52 percent to more than $754 million (factoring in PC brings the total down to a 40 percent increase). Accessories nudged up two percent, while hardware was the only category to decline, dropping 13 percent to $183.2 million - not exactly unexpected as everyone is gearing up for the launch of next-gen.

NPD analyst Liam Callahan noted that GTA V was a "much needed shot in the arm for the industry" and that the game "represented over 50 percent of dollar sales in September, and had the highest first month sales than any other previous launch in the Grand Theft Auto franchise."

Interestingly, on the hardware side, Sony's PS3 finally managed to break Microsoft's long-running Xbox 360 streak. "PS3 was the top selling console this month, breaking the 32-month streak of the Xbox 360 leading console hardware sales from January 2011 to August 2013," Callahan said, adding that PS3 was given a lift by the GTA V 500GB PS3 bundle, "demonstrating how Grand Theft Auto V can shake things up in hardware as well as software.”

While GTA V stole the spotlight, other top performers for the month included EA Sports' Madden NFL 25 and FIFA 14, Take-Two's NBA 2K14, and Blizzard's Diablo III. The complete top 10 chart is below.

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Latest comments (7)

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
Heh. Shouldn't that title actually read "GTA V drives US console software sales of GTA V up 52%" or something like that?

OK, lame joke, but I'd say most people who bought GTA probably didn't buy another game because of it (unless you add some Saint's Row IV sales into those numbers if someone decided to buy both to compare them...) =^P
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development8 years ago
I think that's a very worrying stat indeed.

If a single game, regardless of how well it's doing, can have such a massive effect on the overall sector, said sector must be in a right shit state.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Paul, single games have been able to do that since the beginning.
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James Ingrams Writer 8 years ago
Paul, that's exactly what I was going to say! 52% of sales for any one title would not have even been heard of 15+ years ago! With only one AAA title in 20 even breaking even, let alone making a profit, The AAA video games business is on a precipice and about to fall over it through complacency!

The media doesn't help with shallow reports like this, that seem to be written by the video games industry, rather than an independent website!!

Edited 2 times. Last edit by James Ingrams on 18th October 2013 4:42pm

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.8 years ago
Actually, James, it has always been common for major titles to be responsible for a very large portion of the overall sales in a given month. This is not a new issue.

It should also be noted that GTAV had the largest sales launch of any title in history outside of one of the CoD titles (which also launch during the massive holiday buying period).

You can't look at this data and make a claim about the demise of the console or AAA industry given that single games have been a majority proportion of monthly sales for over 2 decades and GTAV had a larger launch that practically anything ever has.

Now if a game launched to low sales and it still ate up a majority of all sales, then we'd have cause for concern.
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Tosin Balogun Studying International Business, Anglia Ruskin University8 years ago
I feel this time, more than ever has publishers had the strength to decide where people choose to consume their games. I mean they did have the power but it has never been this more pronounced, just look at the backlash from the delay of Watch Dogs and Drive Club, i fear that once third party publishers create a killer game app for Tablet/Mobile as they have done with PC this generation, the question of console relevance would re-surface again like a plague that wont go away
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James Ingrams Writer 8 years ago
I feel you can. I am sorry, but AAA games publishers make less money now, proportionally, than they did 20 years ago! A publisher brought a game to market for $1 million and made $5 million PROFIT, for example. Do we think that an AAA publisher today that spends $100 million will make $500 million profit?
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