January was a rough month for gaming in the US. According to the NPD Group, consumers spent 4 percent less on gaming than they did last year. That’s an overall figure, though, and it’s not all broken mirrors and Cure songs. Software sales are up 14 percent.
The jump, says NPD analyst Sam Naji, “was due in large part to the stronger comparison this January with the release of Capcom’s Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.”
Not only is that a win for the industry, it’s a win for Capcom in particular. The company’s been having a rough few years with their lineup consisting more of remakes and re-releases than new games. This is the company’s first #1 game since March 2009 with Resident Evil 5.
The PlayStation 4 sold the most systems, but Microsoft had a great month as well, as we previously covered, being the only console to show growth in a slumping month, meaning that more people are buying Xbox consoles versus last year, and less PlayStation 4s.
There’s a lot of data missing
The rest of the list isn’t terribly surprising. Two war games, three sports games and, of course, Grand Theft Auto V. Overwatch is on there too, but as the asterisk next to it on the list below reminds us, the NPD Group’s visibility is somewhat limited and it’s getting more and more limited as the industry grows.
The NPD Group tracks retail sales, but doesn’t track digital stuff. That means games sold through the Xbox and PlayStation storefronts as well as places like Steam and Battle.net don’t factor into this. Last year, Blizzard positively raked money in through microtransactions, and Rockstar’s GTA Online is apparently an eternal fountain of money for the company. So, while we’re including the list below via GamesBeat, it should be taken with somewhat of a grain of salt. PlayStation 4 exclusives like Yakuza 0 and Gravity Rush 2 are absent from the list, as well. It might be wishful thinking, but I like to imagine that digital sales partially account for that. We’re peeking through a keyhole into a big warehouse, and there’s a lot we can’t see.
We’re peeking through a keyhole into a big warehouse, and there’s a lot we can’t see.
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Battlefield 1
- NBA 2K17
- Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue
- Madden NFL 17
- Watch Dogs 2
- FIFA 17
*Does not include Battle.net sales