Gaming is in its golden age, and big and small players alike are maneuvering like kings and queens in A Game of Thrones. Register now for our GamesBeat 2015
event, Oct. 12-Oct.13, where we'll explore strategies in the new world of gaming.
Total video game sales were down again despite having a long month and a major release from Sony, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group.
Sales of new games, hardware, and accessories at physical retailers amounted to $593.3 million. That’s down 15 percent from $700.6 million in a similar period in 2012. Hardware was down 30 percent to only $142 million, while software sales dropped 10 percent to $296.1 million. Although, it’s important to note that June 2013 was a five-week month for The NPD Group, so those comparisons are a bit better than reality.
As usual, The NPD Group doesn’t track digital sales, but it is planning on starting a service that does before the end of the year.
“These sales figures represent new physical retail sales of hardware, software and accessories, which account for roughly 50 percent of the total consumer spend on games,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said in a statement. “When taking into account our preliminary estimate for other physical format sales in June such as used and rentals at $118 million, and our estimate for digital format sales including full game and add-on content downloads including micro-transactions, subscriptions, mobile apps and the consumer spend on social network games at $544 million, the total consumer spend in June is $1.2 billion.”
We’ll take a closer look at hardware sales in a moment, but first let’s look at the the software chart for June.
- The Last of Us (PS3)
- Animal Crossing: New Leaf (3DS)
- Minecraft (Xbox 360)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U)
- NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC)
- Injustice: Gods Among Us (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U)
- Donkey Kong Country Returns (3DS, Wii)
- Deadpool (Xbox 360, PS3)
- Battlefield 3 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
- Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)
The 3DS had a big month. Its Animal Crossing: New Leaf debuted at No. 2, but both Donkey Kong Country Returns and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon made repeat appearances on the best-seller charts. This is actually Luigi Mansion’s fourth month in the top 10.
“The Last of Us was the top selling game at retail in the month of June,” said Callahan. ” To put this in context, it had the second highest first-month sales of a PS3 first-party game, after God of War 3 in March 2010. The Last of Us was also the third highest game to launch during the month of June since NPD began tracking sales in 1995.”
It’s not surprising that Naughty Dog’s final PlayStation 3 release found a major audience considering that developer’s prestige. What is surprising is that Minecraft, which isn’t really exclusive, but is only available as a physical game on Xbox 360, debuted at No. 3 despite first releasing on Xbox Live in May 2012.
“Minecraft’s successful foray into physical retail shows that digital products can reach a new market when launching a physical disc,” said Callahan. “While many have downloaded the game, these sales indicate that there are plenty of consumers willing to buy a physical disc who are either not connected to the Internet, don’t have a credit card to purchase digital games online, or simply prefer the physical disk over digital copies.”
Another new game, Deadpool for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, squeaked its way on the chart, but the rest of the top 10 is made up of games that are familiar to this list. November release Call of Duty: Black Ops II, October release NBA 2K13, October 2011 release Battlefield 3, and April release Injustice: Gods Among Us continue to find success at retail.
The 3DS was the best-selling console in June. Nintendo revealed that it sold 225,000 portables at retail. This is the second month in a row that Nintendo’s 3D handheld outsold all other devices.
Xbox 360 once again lead home console sales. Microsoft confirmed the system sold 140,000 units. That’s 30 months in a row that Microsoft’s console outsold PS3, Wii, Wii U, and now Ouya.
“June 2013 was the first month of retail sales for Ouya — not counting direct sales through ouya.tv — and were relatively light for a new console,” said Callahan. “This may be due to the lack of a major marquee title driving consumers to seek out the console, low awareness due to Ouya being a new brand, or low inventory volume due to manufacturing constraints.”