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Gaming consumers in the United States spent $1.545 billion in October, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That is up year-over-year, and it’s little surprise considering two of the biggest games of 2018 debuted during the month.

“October 2018 tracked spending across video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards grew 73 percent when compared to a year ago, to $1.5 billion,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “All categories of spend reflected growth, with sales of PC & video games software more than doubling when compared to October 2017.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption II were the biggest drivers of that growth. And Piscatella notes that their combined power broke some of the NPD’s records.

“The $1.55 billion in October 2018 dollar sales represents the highest total spend for a month of October since The NPD Group began tracking the industry in 1995,” said Piscatella. “The previous high was $1.36 billion reached in October 2008.”


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Here are the numbers for October:

  • Total: $1.545 billion (up 73 percent from $894 million in October 2017)
  • Hardware: $300 million (up 26 percent from $238 million)
  • PC and console software: $965 million (up 104 percent from $473 million)
  • Accessories: $280 million (up 54 percent from $182 million)

Here’s how 2018 is comparing so far to 2017 in terms of year-to-date dollar sales:

  • Total: $10.52 billion (up 21 percent from $8.67 billion in 2017 year to date)
  • Hardware: $2.72 billion (up 19 percent from $2.29 billion)
  • PC and console software: $4.84 billion (up 16 percent from $4.18 billion)
  • Accessories: $2.96 billion (up 35 percent from $2.19 billion)

Let’s get to the software charts.

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

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 sales.

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

  1.  Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII**
  2. Red Dead Redemption II
  3. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  4. NBA 2K19
  5. Super Mario Party*
  6. Soul Calibur VI
  7. FIFA 19**
  8. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  9. Madden NFL 19**
  10. WWE 2K19
  11. Forza Horizon 4
  12. Lego DC Super Villains
  13. My Hero One’s Justice
  14. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
  15. Mario Kart 8*
  16. Grand Theft Auto V
  17. Super Mario Odyssey*
  18. Diablo III**
  19. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  20. NHL 19

*Does not include digital sales.
**Does not include PC digital sales.

“Dollar sales of Console, Portable and PC Games Software totaled $965 million in October 2018, more than doubling compared to a year ago,” said Piscatella. “This represents an all-time high for PC & Video Games Software spending in an October month. The previous best of $743 million was reached in October 2008.”

And yeah, you can chalk up the bulk of those sales to Call of Duty moving into October and Red Dead Redemption II finally coming out. Those games have actually supercharged the industry’s totals for the year.

“Year-to-date dollar sales of Console, Portable and PC Games Software reached $4.8 billion, up 16 percent versus a year ago,” said Piscatella. “This is the highest year-to-date total for Software spending since the $5.3 billion achieved in the year-to-date 2011 comparable period.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Activision wanted to rush its latest Call of Duty out before its normal November release date, and that didn’t seem to hurt sales.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is the best-selling game of October,” said Piscatella. “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 launch month dollar sales represent the eigth highest in Video Game history since The NPD Group began tracking in 1995. Black Ops 4 instantly becomes the best-selling game of the year, and the seconnd best-selling game across the past twelve month period, trailing only Call of Duty: WWII.”

Red Dead Redemption II

Red Dead came out later in the month than Call of Duty, but it was long enough to make a dent in the October chart and the 2018 chart.

“With just nine days of reported sales, Red Dead Redemption 2 is the second best-selling game of October 2018 and is now also the second best-selling game year to date,” said Piscatella. “Red Dead Redemption 2 launch month sales more than tripled those of the previous title in the series, Red Dead Redemption, which launched May 2010.”

And the success of Call of Duty and Red Dead mean big money for publishers Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive, respectively.

“Activision Blizzard was the highest revenue generating publisher for the month of October, while Take-Two Interactive has achieved the highest total revenue year to date,” said Piscatella.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

It may have debuted in the month prior, but it maintained enough momentum to finish high on the chart. Ubisoft games continue to have legs.

“Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey repeated its September success,” said Piscatella. “Again ranking as the third best-selling game of the month.”

Super Mario Party

Speaking of legs, that’s what Nintendo games are known for. And Super Mario Party is a part of that trend.

“Super Mario Party climbs the charts this month to rank fifth in October sales after its September debut placed it at number nine in the ranking,” said Piscatella. “Over each title’s first two months in market, Super Mario Party is now the third fastest selling Mario Party game in history, trailing only Mario Party and Mario Party 8.”

Soul Calibur VI

Bandai Namco has gone back to its Soul Calibur fighting franchise, and the game had a respectable debut.

“Soul Calibur VI debuts as the sixth best-selling game of October,” said Piscatella. “Soul Calibur VI achieved the third highest launch month dollar sales for the franchise in tracked history, trailing only Soul Calibur IV and Soul Calibur II.”

Top 10 best selling games so far this year

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4**
  2. Red Dead Redemption II
  3. Far Cry 5
  4. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  5. NBA 2K19
  6. God of War 2018
  7. Monster Hunter: World
  8. Madden NFL 19**
  9. Grand Theft Auto V
  10. Call of Duty: WWII**


  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  2. Red Dead Redemption II
  3. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  4. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  5. Soul Calibur VI
  6. NBA 2K19
  7. FIFA 19
  8. WWE 2K19
  9. Madden NFL 19
  10. My Hero One’s Justice

Xbox One

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  2. Red Dead Redemption II
  3. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  4. Forza Horizon 4
  5. NBA 2K19
  6. Madden NFL 19
  7. FIFA 19
  8. WWE 2K19
  9. Soul Calibur VI
  10. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider


  1. Super Mario Party
  2. Mario Kart 8
  3. Super Mario Odyssey
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  5. Diablo III
  6. Starlink: Battle For Atlas
  7. Dark Souls Remastered
  8. The World Ends with You: Final Remix
  9. Lego DC Super Villains
  10. My Hero One’s Justice

Hardware and accessories

The PlayStation 4 was the top-selling hardware of October, according to NPD. You can read more details about how the consoles performed during October right here. But, overall, the picture is rosy.

“For the 2018 year-to-date period, hardware spending has increased 19 percent, to $2.7 billion,” said Piscatella. “Spending gains for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Plug N Play devices such as the NES Classic Edition and SNES Classic Edition continue to drive growth.”

When it comes to accessories, growth was consistent with the rest of the year. People are still buying more headsets and currency gift cards than ever.

“Total spending on accessories and game cards grew 54 percent in October 2018 when compared to a year ago, to an all-time high of $280 million,” said Piscatella. “Year-to-date, accessories and game card spending has grown 35 percent when compared to a year ago, to $3 billion. This is also an all-time high, besting the $2.2 billion generated in the 2017 year-to-date period.”

What this comes down to is that people want to talk to their friends while playing Fortnite and other online games. This has turned into a huge boom for companies like Turtle Beach.

“Consumer spending on headsets & headphones doubled in October when compared to a year ago,” said Piscatella. “While Gamepad spending increased 63 percent. Turtle Beach was October’s leading manufacturer of headsets & headphones, while Sony ranked as the best-selling manufacturer of Gamepads.

“Year to date, consumer spending on Headsets & Headphones has grown 87 percent when compared to a year ago, while Gamepad spending has grown 31 percent.”

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