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NPD: Marvel's Spider-Man was the biggest PlayStation exclusive launch ever

The web-slinger's latest outperformed the combined launch sales of all his previous adventures since 1995

The NPD Group has published its latest sales rankings for September 2018, and Spidey swings ahead of all other releases.

Marvel's Spider-Man was the best-selling game of the month, outperforming multi-format releases such as FIFA and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. It was the highest launch month ever for a PlayStation exclusive in terms of dollar sales - higher, in fact, than any other game this year - and the seventh largest for any game ever released on a Sony platform.

The game is also the third biggest-selling title of 2018 so far, only behind fellow Sony exclusive God of War and current leader Far Cry 5.

Insomniac's title performed so well, its launch month sales are 37 per cent higher than the combined launch month sales for all other Spider-Man games released since 1995.

NBA 2K19 launches at No.2, and is already the fifth best-selling game of the year, with the highest launch month dollar sales for any sports game in NPD's history.

There were also impressive performances from Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Forza Horizon 4, which were the third and seventh best-selling games of the month respectively. NPD's tracking runs from September 2nd through to October 6th, which means Ubisoft's epic achieved this with just one day of sales, while Forza Horizon 4 did it in five.

Both games also outperformed their predecessors, with Odyssey showing double-digit percentage growth over last year's Origins in terms of dollar sales. Meanwhile, Forza Horizon 4 enjoyed the highest launch month dollar sales for any title in the series' history, setting a new record for racing games on Xbox platforms.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider launched at No.5 and generated more dollars than Rise of the Tomb Raider but failed to beat the performance of the 2013 reboot.

There were a handful of older releases in the Top 20, such as the perennially successful Grand Theft Auto V, Nintendo hits Super Mario Odyssey and Mario Kart 8, and Ubisoft's Rainbow Six: Siege. Activision's Destiny 2 also received a boost, leaping to No.8 off the back of recent expansion Forsaken.

Looking at market spending, sales of all three categories - hardware, software, and accessories and game cards - are up a combined seven per cent when compared to a year ago, with $1.4 billion spent over the course of the month.

Accessories and game cards were the prime revenue generator, up 43 per cent year-on-year to a record $323 million. For year-to-date sales, spending in the category reached $2.6 billion, up by 35 per cent when compared to 2017 - another all-time high.

In fact, both September and year-to-date spending on game cards exceeded accessories for the first time. NPD did not disclose what the best-selling cards were, but it's a safe bet Fortnite's V-Bucks played their part.

Spending on hardware actually fell by three per cent compared to September 2017, but still took in $306 million. Both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One enjoyed significant gains, but these were offset by declines across other platforms.

Unsurprisingly, PlayStation 4 was the best-selling device in terms of both unit sales and dollars generated, and the leader for the year so far. It managed the highest September unit sales for a non plug-n-play console since its own sales in 2014 (recent years having been dominated by devices like the NES and SNES Classics).

Xbox One's September dollar sales were up by 30 per cent year-on-year, and up 60 per cent year to date.

Meanwhile, software sales reached $747 million for the month - roughly flat compared to the same period last year. Year-to-date spending, however, is up five per cent at $3.9 billion.

Below are the Top 20 best-selling games for September 2018:

  1. Marvel's Spider-Man (Sony Interactive Entertainment)
  2. NBA 2K19 (Take-Two)
  3. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey (Ubisoft)
  4. FIFA 19 (Electronic Arts)
  5. Shadow of the Tomb Raider (Square Enix)
  6. Madden NFL 19 (Electronic Arts)
  7. Forza Horizon 4 (Microsoft)
  8. Destiny 2 (Activision)
  9. Super Mario Party (Nintendo)
  10. NHL 19 (Electronic Arts)
  11. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age (Square Enix)
  12. WWE 2K19 (Take-Two)
  13. Grand Theft Auto V (Take-Two)
  14. Mario Kart 8 (Nintendo)
  15. Naruto To Boruto: Shinobi Striker (Bandai Namco)
  16. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege (Ubisoft)
  17. Crash Bandicoot: N Sane Trilogy (Activision)
  18. Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo)
  19. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
  20. Minecraft (Microsoft)

NB: Digital sales not included for Nintendo's four titles, PC digital sales not included for FIFA, Madden, Destiny or Crash Bandicoot. Minecraft includes physical and digital sales across Sony and Microsoft consoles.

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James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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