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February US sales down 29%, says NPD

Tracking firm reports no new releases cracked the top 20 as every platform saw hardware sales drop year-over-year

The games industry kicked off the year with two straight months of double-digit declines across the board.

The industry tracking NPD Group today reported its US game industry consumer spending numbers for February, showing overall sales down 29% year-over-year to $755 million.

On the software side, NPD found sales of the game software it tracks -- which includes physical software and full-game digital sales from selected publishers -- were down 36% year-over-year to $307 million.

NPD analyst Mat Piscatella pointed to a light release slate as the main driver of the declines.

The NPD's top 20 chart featured no new releases.

The platform-specific top 10 charts were similarly devoid of new titles except for that of the PS4, which saw Media Molecule's Dreams as the eighth best-selling game for the system.

While Tom Clancy's The Division 2 jumped from outside the top 20 to a fifth-place finish for the month, the resurgence of interest in the shooter set in a pandemic-devastated US appears more a product of promotional pricing than current events. Piscatella noted that it was deeply discounted during the month, selling for as little as $3 digitally or $5 at retail.

Hardware numbers were similarly down, with spending off 34% year-over-year to $183 million and year-over-year declines for every platform.

As in January, accessories and game cards were also down, but fared better than the hardware and software markets.

NPD reports that accessories and game card sales fell 14% to $265 million.

The Xbox One Elite Series 2 controller retained its spot as the best-selling accessory for the fourth month in a row.

Here's the US Top 20 (based on dollar sales) for the period between February 2 and February 29, 2020, courtesy of The NPD Group:

  • 1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019
  • 2. NBA 2K20
  • 3. Grand Theft Auto V
  • 4. Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
  • 5. Tom Clancy's The Division 2
  • 6. Mario Kart 8*
  • 7. Ring Fit Adventure
  • 8. Madden NFL 20
  • 9. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  • 10. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • 11. Minecraft#
  • 12. Luigi's Mansion 3*
  • 13. Red Dead Redemption II
  • 14. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  • 15. Pokemon Sword*
  • 16. Just Dance 2020
  • 17. FIFA 20
  • 18. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege
  • 19. Need for Speed: Heat
  • 20. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

*Digital sales not included

#Minecraft digital sales on Xbox and PlayStation included

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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