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Hogwarts Legacy dominated sales in February, according to industry tracking group Circana (formerly known as the NPD Group and IRI). According to the new sales report, the Wizarding World title became the first to unseat Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 from the top spot since the latter launched last October. In fact, multiple new titles climbed the list, indicated that gamers are hungry for new games to play amidst the old familiars.

February 2023 Dollar Sales, MillionsFeb
2022
Feb
2023
Change
Total Video Game Sales$4,321$4,6006%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms)$3,838$3,8931%
Video Game Hardware$295$49568%
Video Game Accessories$188$21213%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

“The February results (and really those going back to October of last year) show a stabilization of trends, both in purchasing and engagement,” said Circana analyst Mat Piscatella. “We’re well into the ‘new normal’ and are no longer subject (for now) to the wild swings we’d seen in the market starting in March 2020.”

Software is not the only site of major chart changes. According to Circana’s chart for February (see above), gamers have spent $495 million on hardware, 68% more than they did this time last year. Piscatella said, with regards to hardware, “This is the highest video game hardware spend for a February month since the $534 million total reached in 2009 … Improved PS5 supply has certainly helped, as have strong sales performances across both new releases and catalog titles.”

February 2023 Circana: Top 20 best-selling games of the month in the U.S.

RankLast
Month
Rank
TitlePublisher
1NEWHogwarts LegacyWarner Bros. Interactive
21Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
32Dead Space (2023)Electronic Arts
43Madden NFL 23 [EA Sports]Electronic Arts
54FIFA 23 [EA Sports]Electronic Arts
611The Last of Us: Part 1Sony (Corp)
76Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
8NEWWild HeartsElectronic Arts
9NEWLike a Dragon: Ishin!Sega
10NEWOctopath Traveler IISquare Enix Inc (Corp)
118God of War: RagnarökSony (Corp)
1215MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
1314Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
1410Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet*Nintendo
15NEWKirby’s Return to Dream Land*Nintendo
16NEWCompany of Heroes 3Sega
1712Sonic FrontiersSega
1841The Last of Us: Part IISony (Corp)
1918NBA 2K23*Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
20NEWTheatrhythm: Final Bar LineSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
*Digital sales not included

One of the first things to note is how many newly launched games have made it onto the charts, with seven recently released titles appearing on the list. In addition to the new games, some of the late 2022 titles have maintained their spots, including Sonic Frontiers, God of War Ragnarök and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet.

Both Last of Us games have climbed up the list, presumably thanks to the continued acclaim for the HBO TV adaptation. Part 1 recently launched on PC, though it has had a notably poor reception thanks to several in-game flaws. Part 2 has risen to place 18 from 41, possibly as new and returning players want to see how the story is likely to play out in the series’ upcoming seasons.

Hogwarts Legacy and other new titles

Avalanche Games’ Hogwarts Legacy is undoubtedly the big winner of the month, making the top spot. Publisher Warner Bros Interactive previously reported that the game sold 12 million copies within two weeks of its launch. However, it’s not the only new title to make the list. The next-highest new title on the list is EA Originals’ Wild Hearts, followed by Sega’s period drama Like a Dragon: Ishin! and Square Enix RPG Octopath Traveler II.

Further down the list are some slightly more niche titles, like Kirby’s Return to Dreamland and rhythm game Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line. Strategy game Company of Heroes 3 has also landed on the charts. Overall, the chart’s plethora of new titles suggests that consumers are eager to play new games, rather than sticking to the top titles of the last few months.

What’s not on the charts

A few notable releases from this time period appear to be missing from the best-selling charts. For example, Nintendo’s much-lauded Metroid Prime Remaster didn’t make the list. This is most likely because Nintendo doesn’t usually offer information on its digital sales, and the physical release of the remaster came later in the month than the digital launch.

Another February release missing from the charts is Mundfish’s Atomic Heart. This could be, in part, due to its inclusion on Xbox Game Pass, as its sales on Steam seemed to be promising. It’s also possibly that its publishers didn’t provide digital sales information to Circana for the charts.

February 2023 Circana: 20 best-selling games of 2022 so far

RankLast
Month
Rank
TitlePublisher
1NEWHogwarts LegacyWarner Bros. Interactive
21Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
32Dead Space (2023)Electronic Arts
43Madden NFL 23 [EA Sports]Electronic Arts
54FIFA 23 [EA Sports]Electronic Arts
66Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
75Fire Emblem Engage*Nintendo
88God of War: RagnarokSony (Corp)
911The Last of Us: Part 1Sony (Corp)
107ForspokenSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
1110Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet*Nintendo
1215MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
1314Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
149One Piece OdysseyBandai Namco Entertainment
1512Sonic FrontiersSega
1613Monster Hunter: RiseSega
1718NBA 2K23*Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
1816Need for Speed: UnboundElectronic Arts
1919Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony)Sony (Corp)
20NEWWild HeartsElectronic Arts
*Digital sales not included.

The year-to-date calendar is not much different from the top 20 for the month, though this is not a surprise given it only covers two months. However, it’s notable that Hogwarts Legacy has also topped this list, meaning that its sales of one month beat Modern Warfare 2’s sales across two months. 2021’s Call of Duty title, Vanguard, was similarly knocked from the top spot in January 2022 by Pokémon Legends: Arceus and then pushed even further down by Elden Ring.

The list also contains some names that were knocked from the February list, indicating their sales were at least enough to keep them in the larger category. Fire Emblem: Engage, One Piece Odyssey and Forspoken have all maintained a place on the year-to-date list. Again, it’s only been two months and it will remain to be seen whether they stay there for any further months.

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