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U.S. consumers spent $4.6 billion on gaming in July 2021, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. This is up 10% from the same period last year, and it’s also the best July the industry has seen since 2008.

PlayStation 5 was the most successful console in terms of dollar sales, although the Switch actually sold more units in July.

“Year-to-date hardware spending has increased 50% when compared to the same period in 2020, reaching $2.7 billion,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said.

Nintendo’s software goes sky-high

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword was the month’s best-selling game thanks to the release of its remaster on Switch. “It is the first Nintendo-published title to lead the monthly best-sellers chart since the launch of Super Mario 3D world in the February 2021 tracking month,” noted Piscatella.

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It was a good month in general for Nintendo, as Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin debuted at No. 3, and even the more niche Neo: The World Ends With You snuck into the charts with a late July 27 release.

All Platforms
Rank Last Month Rank July 2021 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 The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword* Nintendo
2 2 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
3 NEW Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin Capcom USA
4 7 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
5 8 Minecraft Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
6 3 Mario Golf: Super Rush* Nintendo
7 4 MLB: The Show 21^ Sony (Corp)
8 9 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
9 12 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
10 13 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
11 1 Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Sony (Corp)
12 11 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
13 17 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Activision Blizzard (Corp)
14 15 Super Mario 3D World* Nintendo
15 10 Mortal Kombat 11 Warner Bros. Interactive
16 NEW Neo: The World Ends with You Square Enix Inc (Corp)
17 18 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
18 19 Pokémon: Sword/Shield* Nintendo
19 6 Resident Evil: Village Capcom USA
20 14 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft

“MLB The Show 21 surpassed Resident Evil: Village to become the second best-selling game of 2021,” said Piscatella. “Year-to-date sales of MLB The Show 21 are the highest in franchise history.” This is the first entry in Sony’s baseball series to also release on Xbox platforms.

Spending on game accessories was up 11% compared to July 2020, reaching $189 million.

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