The game industry-tracking NPD Group has for the first time included digital sales in research, and sales are still down– with Overwatch leading.
The NPD data is surprising for a few reasons. In June of 2015, software and hardware sales were $878.7 mil., but this year sales are down 22%– at $652.2 mil. Unsurprisingly, hardware sales are down the most, about 40%, which is explained by this generation’s systems being out over 2 years now, and the announcement of newer versions of these systems on the horizon (and a new system altogether, in the case of the Nintendo NX). Accessories are barely down, only about 6%, which makes similar sense. However, games are down 20% across the board. This may be due to the latest Mirror’s Edge and Lego games not being the blockbusters that 2015’s Batman: Arkham Knight was.
Here’s the breakdown of game sales:
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Doom 2016**
- Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End**
- NBA 2K16
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III
- Destiny: The Taken King
*No Battle.net sales
**No digital sales
The fact that Grand Theft Auto V is still placing at #2 in sales is astonishing, given it’s nearing 3 years of age. Doom, Uncharted, and Minecraft may have placed higher in the list with digital sales, but Battle.net sales would probably have kept Overwatch at the top. Given the quality of the game, accessibility, and universal acclaim, it’s no surprise that the late-May release leads the pack. At a time when many consumers are holding off for the next console, Overwatch is keeping people busy on all systems– which may hurt other sales across the board.