The video game business was up once again in the United States last month, but some segments are starting to cool off. June software sales kept their momentum as people still have few other options for their entertainment dollars, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. Hardware was down for the first time since the pandemic started. But this was still the best June in more than a decade for video games. Sony’s blockbuster The Last of Us Part II was a major contributor to these results.

June 2020 Dollar Sales, Millions Jun’19 Jun’20 CHG
Total Video Game Sales $934 $1,178 26%
Video Game Hardware $231 $191 -17%
Video Game Software (Physical and Full Game Digital Formats from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for DLP Participants) $382 $570 49%
Video Game Accessories & Game Cards $322 $417 29%

“June 2020 tracked spending across video game hardware, software, accessories, and game cards totaled $1.2 billion, gaining 26% when compared to a year ago,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “This is the highest tracked spend for a June month since $1.3 billion was reached in June 2009.”

While we as humans continue to struggle with everything 2020 is throwing at us, games are doing great. That’s especially true compared to 2019.

“Year-to-date tracked spending across video game hardware, software, accessories, and game cards reached $6.6 billion,” said Piscatella. “[That’s an] increase of 19% when compared to a year ago. This is the highest total for the year-to-date period since $7.0 billion was achieved in 2010.”

Let’s get to the games.

Software

NPD tracks physical sales at retailers, but it also gets digital data directly from publishers. But not every company participates. For example, Nintendo doesn’t share its first-party digital sales, and Activision Blizzard does not provide its Battle.net sales. This chart also does not include microtransactions, subscriptions, or anything beyond full-game sales. With those caveats in mind, it is best to think of this as a very useful snapshot of a much more dynamic industry.

These charts are sorted by dollar sales — not number of units sold.

  1. The Last of Us Part II
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. Mortal Kombat 11
  6. Red Dead Redemption II
  7. Ring Fit Adventure
  8. NBA 2K20
  9. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  10. Minecraft Dungeons
  11. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  12. Rainbow Six: Siege
  13. Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition
  14. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  15. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order
  16. Borderlands 3
  17. Need for Speed: Heat
  18. P4G: Persona 4 Golden
  19. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom: Rehydrated
  20. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

“June dollar sales of tracked video game software grew 49% compared to a year ago, to $570 million,” Piscatella said. “This is the highest total for a June month since the $598 million reached in 2010. Year-to-date sales total $3.0 billion, 19% higher when compared to a year ago.”

While the big game of the month is The Last of Us Part II, excitement for games runs deeper than that. Call of Duty continues to rush ahead like a freight train. And Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks like a similar juggernaut.

It turns out that if you had a popular game before the pandemic, it’s likely only doing better as we live through it.

The Last of Us Part II

Naughty Dog’s newest release was the standout hit. For 2020 year-to-date, it ranks behind only Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

“The Last of Us Part II was June’s best-selling game and is now the third best-selling game of the year,” Piscatella said. “The Last of Us: Part II now ranks as the No. 8 best-selling game of the 12-month period ending June.”

And it seems likely that Last of Us will move up both charts based on its explosive launch.

“The Last of Us: Part II achieved the highest launch month dollar sales of any 2020 release to date,” Piscatella said. “The Last of Us: Part II reached the second highest launch month dollar sales for a Sony-published game in history. Only Marvel’s Spider-Man achieved a larger debut in its September 2018 launch month.”

Ring Fit Adventure

“Ring Fit Adventure ranked as the No. 7 best-selling game of June, after finishing May ranked at No. 835,” Piscatella said. “New stock entering the market drove the increase.”

Ring Fit is also catching on through word-of-mouth. People are looking to stay active, and this is the hot new way to do that on that Nintendo Switch many people just bought.

Persona 4 Golden

“Persona 4 Golden returned to the best-sellers chart for the month, ranking at No. 18 following the launch of the title on Steam,” Piscatella said.

Top 10 best-selling games so far this year

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  3. The Last of Us Part II
  4. Final Fantasy VII Remake
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. NBA 2K20
  7. Dragon Ball Z Kakarot
  8. MLB: The Show 20
  9. Resident Evil 3
  10. Madden NFL 20

Top 10 best-selling games of the last 12 months

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. NBA 2K20
  3. Madden NFL 20
  4. Borderlands 3
  5. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  8. The Last of Us Part II
  9. FIFA 20
  10. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

June 2020 NPD: Top 10 Xbox games

  1. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  2. Grand Theft Auto V
  3. Mortal Kombat 11
  4. Minecraft Dungeons
  5. Rainbow Six: Siege
  6. Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order
  7. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
  8. Minecraft: Xbox One Edition
  9. Forza Horizon 4
  10. NBA 2K20

June 2020 NPD: Top 10 PS4 games

  1. The Last of Us Part II
  2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  3. Grand Theft Auto V
  4. Mortal Kombat 11
  5. Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition
  6. MLB: The Show 20
  7. NBA 2K20
  8. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  9. Red Dead Redemption II
  10. Final Fantasy VII Remake

June 2020 NPD: Top 10 Nintendo Switch games

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  2. Ring Fit Adventure
  3. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  6. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
  7. Just Dance 2020
  8. Pokémon Sword
  9. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
  10. The Outer Worlds

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