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2018 is off to a good start for the gaming industry. Revenues in January were up 59 percent year-over-year and generated $1.096 billion, according to the industry-tracking firm The NPD Group.

The big winner is Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World, which was the best-selling game for the month despite launching January 26. The series has always been popular in Japan, and it’s one of the publisher’s most successful franchises. It doubled down on Western audiences with Monster Hunter: World, focusing on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 rather than Nintendo systems. It also introduced a more open-world feel. Capcom’s efforts paid off, and it sold over 5 million copies of the game in the first weekend alone.

“Sales of Monster Hunter: World represent an all-time launch month high for the Monster Hunter franchise in the U.S.,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said.

Here are the numbers for January 2018:


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  • Total: $1.096 billion (up 59 percent from $690 million in January 2017)
  • Hardware: $278 million (up 119 percent from $127 million)
  • PC and console software: $517 million (up 51 percent from $343 million)
  • Accessories: $301 million (up 37 percent from $220 million)

The NPD now reports PC and console software sales together. The report doesn’t cover total market spend, and it is missing certain data. It is more of a snapshot of the market as a whole, using data from participating publishers and platforms.



  1. Monster Hunter: World
  2. Dragon Ball: Fighterz
  3. Call of Duty: WWII
  4. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds*
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. NBA 2K18
  7. Super Mario Odyssey**
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild**
  9. Mario Kart 8**
  10. Madden NFL 18
  11. Star Wars: Battlefront II*
  12. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  13. UFC 3
  14. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  15. FIFA 18*
  16. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse
  17. The Sims 4*
  18. Splatoon 2**
  19. Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT
  20. Need for Speed: Payback*

* No PC digital sales
** No digital sales

Capcom was the top publisher for the month, thanks to Monster Hunter: World hitting the target. But the Dragon Ball franchise also had a successful month. Dragon Ball Fighterz from developer Arc System Works and publisher Bandai Namco ranked as the No. 2 best-selling game, and Dragon Ball: Xenoverse came in at No. 16.

“Launch month sales of Dragon Ball Fighterz were the highest for a Dragon Ball franchise release since Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, which released in December 2002,” said Piscatella.

PUBG Corp.’s PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is also creeping up the top-selling list, rising from No. 7 in December to No. 4. The popular battle royale game launched on Xbox One on December 12 and sold more than 3 million copies within a month.

Xbox One

  1. Monster Hunter: World
  2. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  3. Call of Duty: WWII
  4. Dragon Ball Fighterz
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. Star Wars: Battlefront II
  7. NBA 2K18
  8. Madden NFL 18
  9. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  10. UFC 3

PlayStation 4

  1. Monster Hunter: World
  2. Dragon Ball Fighterz
  3. Call of Duty: WWII
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. NBA 2K18
  6. Madden NFL 18
  7. Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT
  8. Star Wars: Battlefront II
  9. UFC 3
  10. FIFA 18

Nintendo Switch**

  1. Super Mario Odyssey
  2. Mario Kart 8
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  4. Splatoon 2
  5. Pokken Tournament DX
  6. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  7. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  8. ARMS
  9. Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  10. Doom 2016

Nintendo 3DS**

  1. Pokemon: Ultra Sun
  2. Pokemon: Ultra Moon
  3. Mario Kart 7
  4. Mario Party: The Top 100
  5. Minecraft
  6. Super Mario Maker
  7. Super Smash Bros.
  8. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions
  9. New Super Mario Bros. 2
  10. Kirby: Battle Royale

The best-selling games over the last 12 months

  1. Call of Duty: WWII
  2. NBA 2K18
  3. Destiny 2*
  4. Madden NFL 18
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild**
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. Star Wars: Battlefront II*
  8. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  9. Super Mario Odyssey**
  10. Mario Kart 8**

Hardware and accessories

It was a booming month for hardware, which was up 119 percent year-over-year and generated $278 million. NPD reports that consumers bought more than 1 million consoles, the highest number since January 2011. The Nintendo Switch sold the most systems, but Sony’s PlayStation 4 generated the most revenue. Microsoft’s Xbox One rounds out the top-three consoles for the month.

“PlayStation 4, Switch and Xbox One all performed well in the month of January,” said Piscatella. “In dollar sales, the gap between the top-selling platform and the third best-selling was only three percent.”

Aside from the Switch, Nintendo also saw a resurgence of interest in the 3DS. The handheld console sold the most in January since the same time period in 2013.

The accessories category had a record January, generating $301 million. Consumers were mainly interested in headsets, and Turtle Beach was the best seller of the month.

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