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The U.S. gaming industry finished strong in 2022 despite it being an otherwise slow year, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. While the year overall was down slightly — in line with the common view that 2022 is a “bust” corrective year following the pandemic boom — spending on hardware and subscriptions boosted sales to a slight year-over-year increase for December.

December 2022 Dollar Sales, MillionsDec
2021
Dec
2022
Change
Total Video Game Sales$7,428$7,5832%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms)$5,597$5,547-1%
Video Game Hardware$1,319$1,53316%
Video Game Accessories$512$503-2%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

“U.S. consumer spending on video game content, hardware and accessories totaled $7.6 billion in December 2022, an increase of 2% when compared to a year ago,” said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. “Video game hardware spending grew 16%, offsetting declines in both content (-1%) and accessories (-2%).”

In addition to the monthly sales, NPD also provided its year-end statistics, including sales figures for individual games in 2022. Total game sales for 2022 were down 5% from 2021, a smaller difference than the company has recorded in previous months. Hardware sales actually improved in 2022, which suggests that the supply chain issues from earlier in the year have eased.

2022 Dollar Sales, Millions20212022Change
Total Video Game Sales$59,620$56,556-5%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms)$50,833$47,475-7%
Video Game Hardware$6,060$6,5708%
Video Game Accessories$2,726$2,511-8%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

Piscatella added, “The December growth brought full year 2022 spending to $56.6 billion, 5% below 2021 levels. Gains in spending in hardware and subscription content were offset by declines across other areas of spending. Factors impacting 2022 spending included continued supply constraints of console hardware, a relatively light slate of new premium releases, and macroeconomic conditions.”

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December 2022 NPD: Top 20 best-selling games of the month in the U.S.

NPD tracks physical sales at retailers, but it also gets digital data directly from publishers. Not every company participates. For example, Nintendo doesn’t share its first-party sales and Activision Blizzard does not provide its Battle.net sales.

These charts are sorted by dollar sales — not number of units sold. And this is for full-game sales and does not include in-game spending.

RankLast
Month
Rank
All PlatformsPublisher
11Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
23Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet*Nintendo
32God of War: RagnarökSony (Corp)
45Madden NFL 23Electronic Arts
56FIFA 23Electronic Arts
64Sonic FrontiersSega
711Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
8NEWNeed for Speed: UnboundElectronic Arts
913Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
10NEWCrisis Core: Final Fantasy VII: ReunionSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
117NBA 2K23*Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
1227Just Dance 2023 EditionUbisoft
1314Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of HopeUbisoft
1418MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
1521Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*Nintendo
1625Nintendo Switch Sports*Nintendo
17NEWThe Callisto Protocol*Krafton Games Union
1812Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
1924Splatoon 3*Nintendo
208Gotham KnightsWarner Bros. Interactive
*Digital sales not included

The list of best-selling games — both for the month and the year (see below) — don’t really contain any great surprises this month. Several games have jumped back onto the list thanks in part to holiday sales and heavy-hitting franchises like Pokémon and Call of Duty continue to top the list. November releases, Sonic Frontiers and God of War Ragnarök, both continue to chart well.

Out of the new games released in December, Need for Speed Unbound has charted the highest, beating out Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion likely due to the latter’s console exclusivity. The Callisto Protocol also managed to make the charts. Despite releasing during the tail end of the year, the title launched without much competition.

Recently, Ubisoft announced that it was cutting back on game development, canceling three unannounced titles. One of the factors it cited in these measures was the under performance of its late 2022 titles, namely Just Dance 2023 and Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of Hope. Both titles managed to make the best-sellers list for December, likely in part thanks to holiday sales.

December 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Nintendo-platform games in the U.S.

RankLast
Month
Rank
Nintendo PlatformsPublisher
11Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet*Nintendo
25Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
36Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of HopeUbisoft
411Just Dance 2023 EditionUbisoft
52Sonic FrontiersSega
68Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*Nintendo
710Nintendo Switch Sports*Nintendo
84Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
99Splatoon 3*Nintendo
1019Kirby and the Forgotten Land*Nintendo
*Digital sales not included

December 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling PlayStation-platform games in the U.S.

RankLast
Month
Rank
PlayStation PlatformsPublisher
12Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
21God of War: RagnarökSony (Corp)
33Madden NFL 23Electronic Arts
44FIFA 23Electronic Arts
5NEWNeed for Speed: UnboundElectronic Arts
6NEWCrisis Core: Final Fantasy VII: ReunionSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
76NBA 2K23*Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
811Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
95Sonic FrontiersSega
10NEWThe Callisto Protocol*Krafton Games Union
*Digital sales not included

December 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Xbox-platform games in the U.S.

RankLast
Month
Rank
Xbox PlatformsPublisher
11Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
22Madden NFL 23Electronic Arts
33FIFA 23Electronic Arts
4NEWNeed for Speed: UnboundElectronic Arts
58Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
66NBA 2K23*Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
74Sonic FrontiersSega
85Gotham KnightsWarner Bros. Interactive
97NHL 23Electronic Arts
109Forza Horizon 5Microsoft (Corp)
*Digital sales not included

Full-year 2022 NPD: 20 best-selling games of 2022

RankLast
Month
Rank
All PlatformsPublisher
11Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
22Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
33Madden NFL 23Electronic Arts
45God of War: RagnarökSony (Corp)
54LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
67Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet*Nintendo
79FIFA 23Electronic Arts
86Pokémon Legends: Arceus*Nintendo
98Horizon II: Forbidden WestSony (Corp)
1010MLB: The Show 22^Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
1113Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
1211Call of Duty: VanguardActivision Blizzard (Corp)
1312Gran Turismo 7Sony (Corp)
1414Kirby and the Forgotten Land*Nintendo
1517NBA 2K23*Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
1623Sonic FrontiersSega
1715Gotham KnightsWarner Bros. Interactive
1816MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
1918Nintendo Switch Sports*Nintendo
2022Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*Nintendo
*Digital sales not included
^Xbox & Switch digital sales not included

Full-year 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling games on Nintendo platforms

RankNintendo PlatformsPublisher
1Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet*Nintendo
2Pokémon Legends: Arceus*Nintendo
3Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
4Kirby and the Forgotten Land*Nintendo
5Nintendo Switch Sports*Nintendo
6Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*Nintendo
7Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
8LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
9Mario Party Superstars*Nintendo
20Splatoon 3*Nintendo
*Digital sales not included

Full-year 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling games on PlayStation platforms

RankPlayStation PlatformsPublisher
1Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2God of War: RagnarökSony (Corp)
3Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
4Madden NFL 23Electronic Arts
5Horizon II: Forbidden WestSony (Corp)
6FIFA 23Electronic Arts
7MLB: The Show 22Sony (Corp)
8Gran Turismo 7Sony (Corp)
9LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
10Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesSony (Corp)
*Digital sales not included

Full-year 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling games on Xbox platforms

RankXbox PlatformsPublisher
1Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
3Madden NFL 23Electronic Arts
4LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
5FIFA 23Electronic Arts
6Call of Duty: VanguardActivision Blizzard (Corp)
7Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold WarActivision Blizzard (Corp)
8Gotham KnightsWarner Bros. Interactive
9Forza Horizon 5Microsoft (Corp)
10Saints Row (2022)Plaion
*Digital sales not included

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