The video game industry was booming last month as holiday spending kicked in. Spending was up across the board, totaling $2.68 billion and up 30 percent over November 2016, according to the industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. Publisher Activision’s and developer Sledgehammer Games’s Call of Duty: WWII was the biggest winner last month, becoming the best-selling game of 2017 and for the past 12 months.

“Call of Duty: WWII generated more launch month consumer spending than any Call of Duty debut since the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II in November 2012,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said.

Here are the numbers for November 2017:

  • Total: $2.68 billion (up 30 percent from $2.072 billion in November 2016)
  • Hardware: $1.147 billion (up 52 percent from $754 million)
  • Console software: $1.164 billion (up 19 percent from $978 million)
  • PC software: $33 million (up 13 percent from $29 million)
  • Accessories: $344 million (up 11 percent from $311 million)

The NPD report doesn’t cover total market spend, and it is missing certain data (such as digital sales from Blizzard’s store on its service). It is more of a snapshot of the market as a whole, using data from participating publishers and platforms.


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  1. Call of Duty: WWII
  2. Star Wars: Battlefront II
  3. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  4. NBA 2K18
  5. Madden NFL 18
  6. Super Mario Odyssey*
  7. FIFA 18
  8. Need for Speed: Payback
  9. Destiny 2**
  10. Pokémon: Ultra Sun*
  11. Pokémon: Ultra Moon*
  12. Middle-earth: Shadow of War
  13. Grand Theft Auto V
  14. The Sims 4
  15. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  16. Mario Kart 8*
  17. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus*
  18. South Park: The Fractured But Whole
  19. WWE 2K18
  20. Just Dance 2018

* No digital sales
** No sales

Overall, software spending is up 6 percent year-to-date, generating $5.4 billion. Folks spent $1.2 billion on software last month, up 19 percent from November 2016. And a lot of them were shelling out cash for the blockbuster hit Call of Duty: WWII, which launched on November 3. Thanks to strong franchises like Call of Duty and Destiny, Activision Blizzard remains the top-selling publisher of 2017.

“Call of Duty is the top-ranking revenue generating franchise in tracked history,” said Piscatella.

It wasn’t a shabby month for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Origins either, which dropped from No. 2 last month to No. 3. Since its launch in October, NPD says that it’s generated the highest consumer spend for the franchise since Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag in 2013.

The racing genre continue gain traction. In October, sales doubled year-over-year thanks to games like Forza Motorsport 7 and Gran Turismo Sport. In November, sales tripled.

Xbox One

  1. Call of Duty: WWII
  2. Star Wars: Battlefront II
  3. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  4. NBA 2K18
  5. Madden NFL 18
  6. FIFA 18
  7. Need for Speed: Payback
  8. Destiny 2
  9. Forza Motorsport 7
  10. Middle-earth: Shadow of War

PlayStation 4

  1. Call of Duty: WWII
  2. Star Wars: Battlefront II
  3. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  4. NBA 2K18
  5. Madden NFL 18
  6. FIFA 18
  7. Need for Speed: Payback
  8. Destiny 2
  9. Grand Theft Auto V
  10. Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus*

Nintendo Switch*

  1. Super Mario Odyssey
  2. Mario Kart 8
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  4. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  5. Splatoon 2
  6. Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  7. Sonic Forces
  8. Doom 2016
  9. Pokken Tournament DX
  10. Just Dance 2018

Nintendo 3DS*

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

The best-selling games of 2017 so far

  1. Call of Duty: WWII
  2. Destiny 2**
  3. NBA 2K18
  4. Madden NFL 18
  5. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  7. Grand Theft Auto V
  8. For Honor
  9. Injustice 2
  10. Horizon Zero Dawn

The best-selling games over the last 12 months

  1. Call of Duty: WWII
  2. Destiny 2**
  3. NBA 2K18
  4. Madden NFL 18
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  7. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  9. NBA 2K17
  10. Final Fantasy XV

Hardware and accessories

Sony’s PlayStation 4 has stayed at the top as the best-selling platform, and November didn’t change that. It stayed No. 1, and Sony also sold more consoles than any other month in the PS4’s lifetime.

Hardware sales were up 52 percent year-over-year, reaching $1.1 billion. Aside from the PlayStation 4, this is also thanks to the popularity of the Nintendo Switch and Microsoft’s Xbox One, which also had a record month that outsold any other month life to date. Though the PS4 sold the most number of consoles, the Xbox One brought in more revenue.

“Year to date, hardware spending has grown 28 percent versus 2016 to $3.4B,” said Piscatella. “Consumer spending on Nintendo Switch, Plug N Play devices such as the SNES Classic and the PlayStation 4 continue to fuel growth.”

Accessories also experienced an uptick last month, growing 11 percent year-over-year to $344 million. This is thanks mostly due to gamepads, which sold 30 percent more compared to November 2016.

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