Middle-earth and ancient Egypt were popular destinations last month as Monolith Productions’ Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Origins reached No. 1 and 2 respectively on the best sellers chart. However, video game spending overall was down 11 percent year-over-year, according to the industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. The only segment that was up was hardware, thanks primarily to Nintendo.

“Total video game spending in October 2017, which includes hardware, software and accessories, fell 11 percent versus year ago to $825 million,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Gains in hardware spending were offset by declines in software and accessories.”

Here are the numbers for October 2017:

  • Total: $825 million (down 11 percent from $932 million in October 2016)
  • Hardware: $238 million (up 10 percent from $216 million)
  • Console software: $447 million (down 20 percent from $556 million)
  • PC software: $27 million (down 29 percent from $38 million)
  • Accessories: $113 million (down 7 percent from $122 million)

The NPD report doesn’t cover total market spend. It is missing certain data (such as digital sales from Blizzard’s store on its Battle.net service), and is more of a snapshot of the market as a whole, using data from participating publishers and platforms.

Software

Overall

  1. Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  3. Super Mario Odyssey**
  4. South Park: The Fractured But Whole
  5. NBA 2K18
  6. FIFA 18
  7. WWE 2K18
  8. Madden NFL 18
  9. Destiny 2*
  10. Forza Motorsport 7
  11. Gran Turismo Sport
  12. Grand Theft Auto V
  13. The Evil Within 2**
  14. Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus**
  15. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild**
  16. Mario Kart 8**
  17. Fire Emblem: Warriors**
  18. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  19. NHL 18
  20. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

* No Battle.net sales
** No digital sales

Shadow of War and Assassin’s Creed: Origins are at the top of the chart, and both are beating out their predecessors. Shadow of War fared better than the 2014 Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, selling 20 percent more during its launch month. Origins also surpassed the sales of the previous game in the franchise, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Ubisoft was the best-selling publisher last month, thanks to Origins, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, and Rainbow Six: Siege.

According to NPD, the role-playing game genre is seeing success. That includes titles like South Park, though not Shadow of War and Origins, which it categorizes as action games.

“Role-playing games also continued to show 2017 strength, with October sales growing more than 20 percent,” said Piscatella. “Year to date, sales of RPGs are up 43 percent.”

The new entries to other franchises were also successful. Super Mario Odyssey was No. 1 on Switch and No. 3 overall, and Mario Kart 8 is now in the top 10 best-selling games of 2017. After becoming the best-selling sports game year-to-date, Visual Concepts’ NBA 2K18 is now No. 2 on the best-selling games of 2017. Destiny 2 is also still going strong after topping charts last month.

“Destiny 2 is now the second best-selling game of the 12 month period ending October 2017, surpassing Battlefield 1, which fell to third,” said Piscatella. “Destiny 2 is the year’s best-selling game to date.”

Racing games had a strong showing last month, as Forza Motorsport 7 and Gran Turismo Sport both landed in the top 10 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 respectively. This reflects an upward trend of the genre’s popularity.

“October sales of racing games more than doubled when compared to a year ago. So far in 2017, racing game sales are up 37 percent,” said Piscatella.

Xbox One

  1. Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  3. Forza Motorsport 7
  4. South Park: The Fractured But Whole
  5. NBA 2K18
  6. FIFA 18
  7. Destiny 2
  8. WWE 2K18
  9. Madden NFL 18
  10. Grand Theft Auto V

PlayStation 4

  1. Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  2. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  3. South Park: The Fractured But Whole
  4. NBA 2K18
  5. FIFA 18
  6. Gran Turismo Sport
  7. WWE 2K18
  8. Madden NFL 18
  9. Destiny 2
  10. The Evil Within 2**

Nintendo Switch

  1. Super Mario Odyssey
  2. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  3. Mario Kart 8
  4. Fire Emblem: Warriors
  5. Pokken Tournament DX
  6. Splatoon 2
  7. Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  8. FIFA 18
  9. NBA 2K18
  10. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse 2

Nintendo 3DS

  1. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions
  2. Metroid: Samus Returns
  3. Miitopia
  4. Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth
  5. Pokemon: Sun
  6. Fire Emblem: Warriors
  7. Super Smash Bros.
  8. Mario Kart 7
  9. Super Mario Maker
  10. Layton’s Mystery Journey Katrielle and the Millionaire’s Conspiracy

The best-selling games of 2017 so far

  1. Destiny 2*
  2. NBA 2K18
  3. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  4. Madden NFL 18
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild**
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. For Honor
  8. Horizon Zero Dawn
  9. Injustice 2
  10. Mario Kart 8

The best-selling games over the last 12 months

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  2. Destiny 2*
  3. Battlefield 1
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. NBA 2K18
  6. NBA 2K17
  7. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  8. Madden NFL 18
  9. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild**
  10. Final Fantasy XV

Hardware & accessories

Nintendo drove hardware sales last month with the Switch and SNES Classic. However, it still can’t dethrone Sony’s PlayStation 4 as the top-selling platform year-to-date.

Accessories were down 7 percent year-to-date, generating $113 million. It did get some help from the popularity of racing games last month. Because of Forza Motorsport 7 and Gran Turismo Sport, the sales of steering wheels doubled as compared to October 2016.

The PC Gaming channel is presented by Intel®'s Game Dev program.