Call of Duty: WWII drives November US game sales to $2.7bn - NPD

ATVI hit generated more launch month spending than any Call of Duty debut since Black Ops II in November 2012

Going back to the "boots on the ground" theme certainly is paying dividends for Activision. Today's NPD Group report for November shows overall industry sales up 30% to almost $2.7 billion, and a big chunk of that growth came from Call of Duty: WWII, which NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said was November's best-selling game overall, "and instantly becomes the best-selling video game of both 2017 (year to date) as well as the rolling 12-month period ending November 2017."

The game managed to generate more spending in its launch month than any previous Call of Duty since Black Ops II five years ago. It was a huge bounceback for Activision, since spending was significantly higher than it was for Infinite Warfare back in November 2016.

From a top level, total dollar sales of console, portable and PC games climbed 19% to $1.2 billion, and encouragingly, consumer spending on software is now up 6% year-to-date at $5.4 billion. On the hardware side, sales jumped 52% to $1.1 billion. And while Switch has been having an incredible year, November was actually Sony's time to shine. And Microsoft performed admirably as well.

"Sony's PlayStation 4 sold the most units of any hardware platform in the month of November, while Microsoft's Xbox One drove the highest dollar sales of any hardware platform during the month," said Piscatella. "More units of PlayStation 4 hardware sold in November 2017 than any other month life-to-date. PlayStation 4 is the best-selling video game hardware platform year-to-date. Xbox One hardware generated its highest unit sales tally of any November month life-to-date."

Looking at 2017 so far, Nintendo has obviously played a big part in boosting the market, however. Piscatella added, "Year-to-date, hardware spending has grown 28% versus 2016 to $3.4 billion. Consumer spending on Nintendo Switch, Plug N Play devices such as the SNES Classic and the PlayStation 4 continue to fuel growth."

While Activision's Call of Duty grabbed the spotlight in November, and the company generated the most consumer spending of any publisher in November 2017 and remains the top selling publisher this year, it's certainly worth noting the revival of Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed franchise. Assassin's Creed Origins placed a respectable third on the best-selling chart for November and during its first two months, the title has generated the highest consumer spend for an Assassin's Creed franchise release since 2013's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, NPD noted.

NPD provided some top-level genre data as well. Interestingly, the racing genre has been thriving. November sales of racing games tripled year-over-year, "making it the fifth most purchased Super Genre in the month." EA's Need for Speed: Payback along with Microsoft's Forza 7 and Nintendo's Mario Kart 8 no doubt drove this surge. The shooter genre, meanwhile, was also up 30% and sports increased 26%.

The full top 20 chart is below:


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Latest comments (2)

Richard Browne Partner & Head of Interactive, Many Rivers Productions3 months ago
Well I think we can stop Wii comparisons if the PS4 is outselling the Switch in a key month prior to Christmas when there's no stock shortage of the latter. That's astounding frankly.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.3 months ago
Richard, it is still a valid comparison because it is their best selling home product. It is their benchmark to held against.

As for last month, November has never been as important to Nintendo as December. Sales go up 2-3 times that of November.
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