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Gaming fans in the United States spent $893 million at U.S. retailers and on full-game digital downloads in January, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That’s down 19 percent from the same period in 2018. Those sales declines are largely due to a tough comparison because 2018 was such a huge year for both hardware and software sales. January 2018 also saw the release of Monster Hunter: World, one of the industry’s big successes last year.

“All segments of spending reflected double-digit percentage declines when compared to January 2018,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Despite declines when compared to a year ago, January 2019 spending was the second highest market total achieved in a January month since the $917 million reached in January 2013.”

Big releases like Kingdom Hearts III, Resident Evil 2, and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe helped power those sales. But they faced an extremely tough comparison to Monster Hunter: World, which ended 2018 as the No. 9 best-selling game in the United States as tracked by NPD.

Here are results from January 2019

  • Total: $893 million (down 19 percent from $1.101 billion in January 2018)
  • Hardware: $199 million (down 28 percent from $278 million)
  • PC and console software: $427 million (down 18 percent from $520 million)
  • Accessories and game cards: $267 million (down 12 percent from $303 million)

It’s important to keep in mind that NPD does not include digital microtransaction and DLC sales in these numbers. So if a game like Fortnite is sucking up a lot of cash, you would not see that reflected here.

Also, be sure to check out the best-selling games and financial results for all of 2018 in our story right here.

Let’s do the software charts.


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 sales, and Activision Blizzard does not provide its Battle.net sales.

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

The best-selling games of January 2018 in the U.S.

  1. Kingdom Hearts II
  2. Resident Evil 2 2019
  3. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe*
  4. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII**
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  6. Red Dead Redemption II
  7. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
  8. NBA 2K19
  9. Mario Kart 8*
  10. Grand Theft Auto V
  11. Madden NFL 19**
  12. Tales Of Vesperia
  13. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  14. Battlefield V^
  15. Super Mario Party*
  16. Minecraft***
  17. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  18. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  19. FIFA 19**
  20. Super Mario Odyssey*

*Digital sales not included
**PC digital not included
***Digital for Xbox and PlayStation included, but not PC or Nintendo eshop

Overall, software was down due primarily to sales on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Those consoles saw a sharp year-over-year decline in game sales. Again, that is likely because Monster Hunter: World launched in January 2018.

“Dollar sales of tracked console, portable and PC game software totaled $427 million, an 18 percent declined compared to a year ago,” said Piscatella. “Double-digit percentage software sales growth on the Nintendo Switch platform was offset by declines across all other platforms.”

Kingdom Hearts III

“Kingdom Hearts III was the best-selling game of January 2019,” said Piscatella. “Total launch month dollar sales of Kingdom Hearts III were 2.5-times that of the previous franchise best, Kingdom Hearts II, which debuted on the PlayStation 2 in the March 2006 tracking period. This is the second month in history that a Kingdom Hearts game has topped the best-sellers chart; Kingdom Hearts II was the best-selling game of April 2006.”

Resident Evil 2

“Resident Evil 2 ranked second on January’s best-sellers chart, driving more than 2.8-times higher dollar sales than the launch month of the original Resident Evil 2, which was released in the January 1998 tracking period on PlayStation,” said Piscatella. “It was January’s best-selling game on the Xbox One platform.”

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

“New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe entered the January charts as the third best-selling game of the month, “said Piscatella. “Launch month dollar sales of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe were more than 30 percent higher than that of New Super Mario Bros. U, which launched on the Wii U in November 2012.”

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown

“Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown set a new franchise record as launch month dollar sales totaled more than 80 percent higher than October 2007’s Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation,” said Piscatella.

The best-selling games of the last 12 months

  1. Red Dead Redemption II
  2. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII**
  3. NBA 2K19
  4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  5. Madden NFL 19**
  6. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  7. Far Cry 5
  8. God of War 2018
  9. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  10. Mario Kart 8*

Xbox One’s best-selling games of January 2019

  1. Resident Evil 2 2019
  2. Kingdom Hearts III
  3. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
  4. Red Dead Redemption II
  5. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
  6. Sea Of Thieves
  7. NBA 2K19
  8. Battlefield V
  9. Madden NFL 19
  10. Grand Theft Auto V

PlayStation 4’s best-selling games of January 2019

  1. Kingdom Hearts III
  2. Resident Evil 2 2019
  3. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
  4. Red Dead Redemption II
  5. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
  6. NBA 2K19
  7. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  8. Grand Theft Auto V
  9. Madden NFL 19
  10. Battlefield V

Nintendo Switch’s best-selling games of January 2019

  1. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
  2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  3. Mario Kart 8
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  5. Super Mario Party
  6. Super Mario Odyssey
  7. Pokemon: Lets Go Pikachu
  8. Pokemon: Lets Go Eevee
  9. Splatoon 2
  10. Tales of Vesperia

Nintendo 3DS’s best-selling games of January 2019

  1. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr’s Journey
  2. Pokemon: Ultra Sun
  3. Mario Kart 7
  4. Luigi’s Mansion
  5. Super Smash Bros.
  6. Pokemon: Ultra Moon
  7. Super Mario 3D Land
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D
  9. New Super Mario Bros. 2
  10. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

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