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NPD reports a cooldown of sales in the US in January 2020

Top 10 Selling Video Games (Retail and Digital), January 2020 - PNG

The NPD Group has released a closer look at the cooldown in sales over January 2020, showing what areas of the industry have taken the largest hits.

US dollar sales of tracked game, hardware, software, game cards, and accessories dropped by 26 percent year-on-year in January 2020. All categories showed a decline in sales, generating a total of $678 million. It’s thought that the change has been driven by the ending of current console cycles for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as a lack of big releases early on in the year.

Software sales dropped by 31 percent year-on-year to $311 million. The declines here are mostly due to the comparison to January 2019, which saw two huge games launch, Kingdom Hearts 3 and Resident Evil 2 Remake.

The best-selling game of January 2020 was Dragon Ball Z: Karakot. The game experienced the third-best monthly sales of any in the franchise. Only Dragon Ball: Fighter Z and Dragon Ball Z: Budokai are ahead of it.

Hardware saw a 35 percent drop in sales year-on-year at $129 million. The report states that all in-market platforms showed a decline in sales year-on-year. However, the Nintendo Switch was the best-selling hardware platform for the month, both in dollar and unit sales.

Accessories and game cards showed an 11 percent drop in sales year-on-year, falling to $238 million. The Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller was the best-selling accessory for the month, making it the third consecutive month for the accessory.

Considering the Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller had only been on sale for three months, it was already the fifth best-selling game accessory in US history.

January 2019 was a great month for games. Resident Evil 2 Remake was a phenomenal release that surprised a lot of consumers, and Kingdom Hearts 3 was a long-awaited release for a huge fan base. By comparison, nothing that big launched this year.

With the approach of the next console generation, developers and publishers are focusing on making games for those new platforms, or making their current games run across both generations. The time for big new games in January won’t come around again for a couple of years at least.

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