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 MonthThis MonthTitle
NEW1 MLB: The Show 21^
12Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War
NEW3New Pokemon Snap*
NEW5NieR: Replicant
146Mortal Kombat 11
27Monster Hunter: Rise
229It Takes Two
610Mario Kart 8*
1111Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)
512 Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony)
413Super Mario 3D World*
815Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
916Super Mario 3D All-Stars*
1217Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
718Assassin's Creed: Valhalla
1319Pokemon: Sword/Shield*
1620The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*

*Digital sales not included

^Xbox digital sales not included

More stories

2021 sets record for US games spending at $60.4bn | US Annual Report

Call of Duty: Vanguard was the best-selling title of the year, while the Nintendo Switch remains the top console

By Jeffrey Rousseau

November spending down 10% compared to 2020 | US monthly charts

Hardware sales were at their lowest for a November since 2016, but Switch is still on a high

By Marie Dealessandri

Latest comments

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.