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After a brief uptick last month, hardware sales have again fallen, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. The continued console scarcity alongside a relatively quiet release period appears to have put the industry in a bit of a slump.

May 2022 Dollar Sales, MillionsMay 2021May 2022Change
Total Video Game Sales$4,522$3,680-19%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR) platforms)$4,136$3,332-19%
Video Game Hardware$244$216-11%
Video Game Accessories$142$131-7%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower.

“May 2022 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories fell 19% when compared to a year ago, to $3.7 billion,” said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. “This is the lowest monthly spending total the industry has achieved since February 2020 ($3.5 billion).”

This should not come as a great surprise, though. Following the many huge releases earlier this year, the summer has not seen as many important game launches. Consoles are also difficult to come by. But gamers are still spending money, with the Nintendo Switch leading in hardware sales.

Year-to-Date 2022 Dollar Sales, MillionsYTD 2021YTD 2022Change
Total Video Game Sales$24,409$21,938-10%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR) platforms)$21,449$19,305-10%
Video Game Hardware$1,944$1,759-9%
Video Game Accessories$1,017$875-14%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower.

Piscatella said, “Year-to-date spending has reached $21.9 billion, a 10% drop when compared to the same period in 2021. Subscription content is the only category showing year-on-year spending growth.”

May 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
12Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
21LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
35Nintendo Switch Sports*Nintendo
4NEWEvil Dead: The GameSaber Interactive
53MLB: The Show 22^Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
64Kirby and the Forgotten Land*Nintendo
76Call of Duty: VanguardActivision Blizzard (Corp)
88Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
99Gran Turismo 7Sony (Corp)
1010Pokémon Legends: Arceus*Nintendo
1111MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
127Horizon II: Forbidden WestSony (Corp)
1316Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
1414Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*Nintendo
1513Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold WarActivision Blizzard (Corp)
1612FIFA 22Electronic Arts
1718Mario Party Superstars*Nintendo
1845Pokemon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining PearlNintendo
1923Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2034The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
*Digital sales not included
^Xbox & Switch digital sales not included

After a brief period of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga dominating, Elden Ring is back on top as the best-selling game of the month. According to Piscatella, it was the best-selling game on Steam and Xbox, and second-best on PlayStation. The Lego title is forced to take silver medal, but Horizon: Forbidden West has taken the biggest fall from grace, out of the top 10 entirely.

Evil Dead: The Game

The only new game to appear on the top-selling charts in May was Evil Dead: The Game. While the game is a good one, the fact it is the only title to appear on the list is more out of a lack of releases than an abundance of low-selling ones. May had a light release slate, with other debuts including games such as Vampire: The Masquerade — Swansong, Trek to Yomi, and Salt and Sacrifice.

Piscatella speculated on Twitter that a high cost of everyday spending may have also had an impact on the low numbers. Consumers are also returning to “experiential spending” as opposed to buying items like games.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Curiously, Skyrim has reappeared in the top 20 for the first time since November 2017. While Skyrim has been around in a peripheral sense since it launched over ten years ago, its sudden spike onto the top 20 is still a bit of a surprise.

One possible cause of this, according to Piscatella, is the release of the Steam Deck. Another possibility is that Bethesda RPG fans are self-medicating with a familiar game following the announced delay of Starfield.

May 2022 NPD: 20 best-selling games of 2022 so far

RankLast
Month
Rank
All PlatformsPublisher
11Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
22LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
33Pokémon Legends: Arceus*Nintendo
44Horizon II: Forbidden WestSony (Corp)
55MLB: The Show 22^Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
67Call of Duty: VanguardActivision Blizzard (Corp)
76Gran Turismo 7Sony (Corp)
88Kirby and the Forgotten Land*Nintendo
910Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
109Madden NFL 22Electronic Arts
1111FIFA 22Electronic Arts
1213MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
1333Nintendo Switch Sports*Nintendo
1412Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesSony (Corp)
1515Monster Hunter: RiseCapcom USA
1614Dying Light 2: Stay HumanSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
1717Animal Crossing: New HorizonsNintendo
1816Mario Party Superstars*Nintendo
1918Super Smash Bros. UltimateNintendo
2020Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold WarActivision Blizzard (Corp)
*Digital sales not included
^Xbox & Switch digital sales not included

May 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling games of the 12 months

RankLast
Month
Rank
All PlatformsPublisher
11Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
22Call of Duty: VanguardActivision Blizzard (Corp)
33Madden NFL 22Electronic Arts
44Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond: Shining Pearl*Nintendo
56LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
65Battlefield 2042Electronic Arts
78FIFA 22Electronic Arts
87Far Cry 6Ubisoft
910Pokémon Legends: Arceus*Nintendo
1011Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
*Digital sales not included

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

RankLast
Month
Rank
Nintendo Platforms
(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
13Nintendo Switch Sports*Nintendo
22Kirby and the Forgotten LandNintendo
31LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
44Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
55Pokémon Legends: Arceus*Nintendo
67Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
76Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*Nintendo
88Mario Party Superstars*Nintendo
916Pokémon: Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl*Nintendo
109The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*Nintendo
*Digital sales not included

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

RankLast
Month
Rank
PlayStation Platforms
(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
12MLB: The Show 22Sony (Corp)
23Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
3NEWEvil Dead: The GameSaber Interactive
41LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
55Gran Turismo 7Sony (Corp)
64Horizon II: Forbidden WestSony (Corp)
76Call of Duty: VanguardActivision Blizzard (Corp)
87Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesSony (Corp)
911Ghost of TsushimaSony (Corp)
1014MinecraftMicrosoft (Corp)
*Digital sales not included

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

RankLast
Month
Rank
Xbox Platforms (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar salesPublisher
12Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
21LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
3NEWEvil Dead: The GameSaber Interactive
43Call of Duty: VanguardActivision Blizzard (Corp)
54Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold WarActivision Blizzard (Corp)
69FIFA 22Electronic Arts
76Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
810Call of Duty: Black Ops IIIActivision Blizzard (Corp)
95Forza Horizon 5Microsoft (Corp)
207Halo: InfiniteMicrosoft (Corp)
*Digital sales not included

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