Americans showed up to celebrate Super Mario’s 35th anniversary by giving a lot of money to Nintendo for Super Mario 3D All-Stars and the Nintendo Switch. Other major releases, like Marvel’s Avengers, also helped fuel year-over-year growth.

Here are the full results for September 2020’s game sales from industry-tracking firm The NPD Group:

September 2020 Dollar Sales, Millions Sep’19 Sep’20 CHG
Total Video Game Sales $3,929 $4,310 10%
Video Game Hardware $241 $277 15%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms) $3,541 $3,841 8%
Video Game Accessories $148 $191 30%

“Consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories reached $4.3 billion in September 2020, a 10% increase when compared to a year ago,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Mobile, hardware, and accessories were among the largest growth segments.”

While that’s a big jump for the transitional month between summer and the busy fall season, it’s actually behind the pace of growth for 2020 so far.

“Year-to-date spending totaled $33.7 billion, 21% higher than the same time period in 2019,” Piscatella said.

2020 Year-to-Date Dollar Sales, Millions 2019 YTD 2020 YTD CHG
Total Video Game Sales $27,901 $33,689 21%
Video Game Hardware $1,878 $2,295 22%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms) $24,744 $29,779 20%
Video Game Accessories $1,279 $1,615 26%

This shows that people are rushing out for big new game releases like Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and it should bode well for the launch of Xbox Series X on November 10 and PlayStation 5 on November 12.

September 2020 NPD: Nintendo Switch leads hardware

The launch of Super Mario 3D All-Stars helped push more people to pick up Nintendo’s Switch hardware. It sold well enough to even mitigate the slowing sales of the outgoing Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles.

“September 2020 video game hardware spending reached $277 million, a 15% increase when compared to a year ago,” Piscatella said. “Growth in sales of Nintendo Switch offset declines of other console platforms. Nintendo Switch was the best-selling console during September in both dollars and units.”

Hardware sales are still up huge for the year even before the release of PS5 and Xbox Series X and S.

“Year-to-date spending on hardware has increased 22% when compared to a year ago, to $2.3 billion,” Piscatella said.

Let’s take a closer look at software sales.

September 2020 NPD: Best-selling 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, and Take-Two doesn’t always share its digital 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.

All Platforms

Rank Last Month Rank September 2020 Top 20 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Marvel’s Avengers Square Enix Inc (Corp)
2 NEW Super Mario 3D All-Stars* Nintendo
3 1 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
4 NEW Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Activision Blizzard (Corp)
5 NEW NBA 2K21* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
6 3 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Activision Blizzard (Corp)
7 NEW Crusader Kings III Paradox Interactive
8 5 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
9 NEW Star Wars: Squadrons Electronic Arts
10 7 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe* Nintendo
11 NEW Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time Activision Blizzard (Corp)
12 4 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
13 6 Ring Fit Adventure Nintendo
14 8 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
15 2 UFC 4 Electronic Arts
16 15 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe* Nintendo
17 11 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
18 16 Super Mario Odyssey* Nintendo
19 10 Mortal Kombat 11 Warner Bros. Interactive
20 18 Super Mario Party* Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

Marvel’s Avengers

Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers had one of the best launches ever for a superhero game. This should give the game a strong chance of succeeding as it transitions into an ongoing live service.

“Marvel’s Avengers was the best-selling title of September,” Piscatella said. “Launch-month dollar sales of Marvel’s Avengers were the second highest for any superhero game in U.S. history, trailing only Marvel’s Spider-Man. Marvel’s Avengers debuted as the No. 7 best-selling game of 2020 year to date.”

Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Mario was huge for Nintendo, and these results do not include any digital sales.

“Super Mario 3D All-Stars was the second best-selling game of September, and ranked as the No. 10 best-selling game of 2020 year to date,” Piscatella said. “Super Mario 3D All-Stars generated the second-highest launch-month for physical dollar sales of any 2020 release, trailing only Animal Crossing: New Horizons.”

Nintendo likely helped goose these early sales by promising (threatening) to pull the game from store shelves and its online store after March.

“Super Mario 3D All-Stars’ launch month physical dollar sales rank as the sixth biggest for a Nintendo-published title in U.S. history,” Piscatella said. “Super Mario 3D All-Stars trails only Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Pokémon Stadium in physical launch month dollar sales.”

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, meanwhile, was another remake hit for Activision.

“Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 was the fourth best-selling game in September,” Piscatella said. “The release achieved the highest launch month dollar sales of any title in Tony Hawk franchise history, surpassing Tony Hawk’s Underground 2, which originally launched in October 2004.”

Crusader Kings III

Crusader Kings III had a mammoth launch for publisher Paradox Interactive. It shows that series has moved out of niche status and into the gaming mainstream.

“Crusader Kings III was the seventh best-selling game of September,” Piscatella said. “With just one month of sales, Crusader Kings III ranks as the best-selling release in franchise history. The title also experienced the highest launch month dollar sales of any title published by Paradox Interactive.”

Best-selling games so far in 2020

Rank Last Month Rank Year-to-Date Ending September 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 2 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
3 3 The Last of Us: Part II Sony (Corp)
4 6 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
5 5 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
6 4 Final Fantasy VII: Remake Square Enix Inc (Corp)
7 NEW Marvel’s Avengers Square Enix Inc (Corp)
8 7 Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Bandai Namco Entertainment
9 8 MLB: The Show 20 Sony (Corp)
10 NEW Super Mario 3D All-Stars* Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

Best-selling games of the last 12 months

Rank Last Month Rank 12 Months Ending September 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 2 Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order Electronic Arts
3 5 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
4 3 Madden NFL 20 Electronic Arts
5 6 The Last of Us: Part II Sony (Corp)
6 14 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
7 9 Pokémon: Sword* Nintendo
8 8 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe* Nintendo
9 12 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
10 10 Luigi’s Mansion 3* Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

Xbox One

Rank Last Month Rank September 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Marvel’s Avengers Square Enix Inc (Corp)
2 1 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
3 NEW Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Activision Blizzard (Corp)
4 NEW NBA 2K21* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
5 2 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Activision Blizzard (Corp)
6 NEW Star Wars: Squadrons Electronic Arts
7 3 UFC 4 Electronic Arts
8 NEW Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time Activision Blizzard (Corp)
9 4 Forza Horizon 4 Microsoft (Corp)
10 9 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege Ubisoft
* Digital sales not included

PlayStation 4

Rank Last Month Rank September 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Marvel’s Avengers Square Enix Inc (Corp)
2 NEW Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Activision Blizzard (Corp)
3 1 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
4 NEW NBA 2K21* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
5 2 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
6 4 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Activision Blizzard (Corp)
7 NEW Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time Activision Blizzard (Corp)
8 NEW Star Wars: Squadrons Electronic Arts
9 5 The Last of Us: Part II Sony (Corp)
10 6 Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition Microsoft (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

Nintendo Switch

Rank Last Month Rank September 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Super Mario 3D All-Stars* Nintendo
2 1 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
3 3 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe* Nintendo
4 2 Ring Fit Adventure Nintendo
5 4 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
6 7 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe* Nintendo
7 6 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
8 9 Super Mario Odyssey* Nintendo
9 8 Super Mario Party* Nintendo
10 10 Luigi’s Mansion 3* Nintendo

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