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Mario can't prevent US game sales from falling 11% in October

Nintendo had a great month, but that was offset by an overall decline in software spending

The NPD Group has released its October sales report for the US games market, and while Nintendo had a huge month, the industry actually saw sales drop 11% to $825 million, largely due to a 20% decrease in video game software sales to $447 million. PC games software also fell 29% to $27 million while accessories dipped 7% to $113 million. The one bright spot was hardware, which increased 10% to $238 million, mostly thanks to Nintendo.

With interest in the Switch and the Super NES Classic still sky-high, Nintendo hardware managed to account for two-thirds of the hardware sales generated. That being said, NPD noted that Sony's PlayStation 4 is still the best-selling hardware platform year-to-date. Furthermore, in the accessories category, the black DualShock 4 wireless controller was both the best-selling accessory of October, and the best-selling accessory year-to-date.

On the software side, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, Assassin's Creed Origins and Super Mario Odyssey drove results but total sales were down because of the tough comparison with last year's Battlefield 1. The new Mario, however, could go down in history as one of Nintendo's best launches. "Super Mario Odyssey drove the third highest launch month packaged software sales for a Mario Action/Adventure title in tracked history, following only New Super Mario Bros Wii and Super Mario Galaxy," explained NPD analyst Mat Piscatella.

Warner Bros' Shadow of War took top honors for the month for multiplatform games and was also number one on the individual Xbox and PlayStation charts. "Sales grew over 20 percent when compared to the launch month of the previous release in the franchise, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, which debuted in September 2014," Piscatella said.

Although Destiny 2 just cracked the top 10 in October, it's worth noting that it's the year's best-selling game to date, and it's now the second best-selling game of the 12-month period ending October 2017, surpassing Battlefield 1, which fell to third.

Interestingly, from a genre perspective, October sales of racing games more than doubled year-over-year and are up 37% in 2017; this is likely attributable to Mario Kart 8 and Forza 7. Role Playing Games also are up 43% in 2017, with October sales growing more than 20%.

Finally, looking at the sports field, you might be surprised to learn that it's Take-Two's NBA franchise, not EA Sports' Madden or FIFA, that's seen the most success this year. "After 2 months in market, NBA 2K18 becomes the best-selling sports game for the 12-month period ending October 2017. NBA 2K18 remains the best-selling sports game year-to-date and is now the second best-selling game of the year overall," Piscatella said.

Here's the top 20 games chart for October 2017:

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James Brightman


James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.