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NPD: May US game sales jump 52%

Despite no new releases in the top 10, software sales up 67% as hardware grows 56% for strongest May numbers since 2008

US gaming sales in May were up significantly year-over-year, but the pace of growth slowed somewhat as the country the third month since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

The NPD today released its numbers for US gaming sales in May, showing overall sales of hardware, physical games, downloaded full games (from a panel of 14 major publishers), and video game accessories totaled $977 million for the month, up 52% year-over-year and reaching the highest total for May since 2008.

The pace of growth was down somewhat from April, when overall game sales were up 73% year-over-year.

Software sales for May were up 67% year-over-year to $438 million despite a middling month for new releases. The best-selling new release of the month was Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition for the Switch, which debuted in the 14th spot on the charts.

Meanwhile, hardware sales were up 56% to $235 million, the highest May hardware total since 2010, with the Switch the best-selling system by both unit sales and dollars spent.

Growth in the accessories and game cards segment trailed software and hardware, as they were only up 32% to $304 million.

The Xbox Elite Series 2 wireless controller was the best-selling accessory of the month and the year-to-date.

Here's the US Top 20 (based on dollar sales) for the period between May 3 and May 30, 2020, courtesy of The NPD Group:

  • 1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019
  • 2. Grand Theft Auto V
  • 3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
  • 4. NBA 2K20
  • 5. Mortal Kombat 11
  • 6. Red Dead Redemption II
  • 7. Minecraft*
  • 8. Final Fantasy VII Remake
  • 9. Assassin's Creed Odyssey
  • 10. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  • 11. Madden NFL 20
  • 12. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe*
  • 13. Need for Speed Heat
  • 14. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
  • 15. Minecraft Dungeons*
  • 16. Saints Row: The Third Remastered
  • 17. MLB: The Show 20
  • 18. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  • 19. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
  • 20. FIFA 20

*Digital sales on Nintendo eShop not 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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