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June 2021 NPD: Ratchet & Clank and Mario Golf set franchise records

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Video games have maintained their sales momentum even as summer began in earnest in the United States, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. As more people turned to games during the pandemic, many of them are sticking with that hobby, even as they return to other activities as well.

“June 2021 consumer spending across video game hardware, content, and accessories grew 5% when compared to a year ago, totaling $4.9 billion,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said.

Here’s the full breakdown for the NPD’s June 2021 results for the U.S. video game business:

Total Video Game Sales $4,689 $4,928 5%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR) platforms) $4,291 $4,319 1%
Video Game Hardware $189 $401 112%
Video Game Accessories $209 $207 -1%
* Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

While hardware had the biggest jump, it is impressive that game content and accessories were so close to their inflated numbers from June 2020. That suggests that many new or lapsed fans continue to embrace gaming.

For 2021 as a whole, the industry is looking even stronger.

“First half 2021 consumer spending reached $28.9 billion, a 15% increase when compared to the same period in 2020,” said Piscatella.

Here are the results for 2021 year-to-date:

Year-to-Date 2021 Dollar Sales, Millions YTD 2020 YTD 2021 Change
Total Video Game Sales $25,233 $28,944 15%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR) platforms) $22,528 $25,364 13%
Video Game Hardware $1,620 $2,346 45%
Video Game Accessories $1,086 $1,234 14%
* Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

Let’s get to the software chart.

June 2021 NPD: The top 20 best-selling games of the month in the United States

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.

All Platforms
Rank Last Month Rank June 2021 Top 20 Games (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
1 NEW Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Sony (Corp)
2 4 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
3 NEW Mario Golf: Super Rush* Nintendo
4 3 MLB: The Show 21^ Sony (Corp)
5 NEW Scarlet Nexus Bandai Namco Entertainment
6 1 Resident Evil: Village Capcom USA
7 7 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
8 10 Minecraft Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
9 12 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
10 6 Mortal Kombat 11 Warner Bros. Interactive
11 9 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
12 11 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
13 14 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
14 17 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
15 13 Super Mario 3D World* Nintendo
16 2 Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Electronic Arts
17 51 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 Activision Blizzard (Corp)
18 19 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
19 20 Pokemon: Sword/Shield* Nintendo
20 36 Sea of Thieves Microsoft (Corp)
* Digital sales not included
^ Xbox Digital sales not included

Piscatella has some more to say about the performance of some new games and some returning hits, but I also want to point out Scarlet Nexus. That game debuted at No. 5. And it was No. 6 on both the Xbox and PlayStation charts. That suggests that anime-style games are building an audience across all platforms.

Also (as my GamesBeat Decides co-host Mike Minotti loves to point out), Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is unstoppable. The game is once again back in the top 10, and it’s likely still a popular option for consumers who pick up a game with their new PlayStation 5.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Unsurprisingly, the new and excellent Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is June’s best-selling game. But it also set a new record for the series, and it wasn’t all because of the increased $70 price.

“It achieved the highest launch-month dollar sales of any title in franchise history,” said Piscatella. “Launch month dollar sales of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart more than doubled those of the previous high set by Ratchet & Clank in April 2016.”

Mario Golf: Super Rush

Nintendo had seven games on the top 20 for June, and the new Mario Golf helped contribute to that total. It also set a series record.

“Mario Golf: Super Rush launched as the third best-selling game of June 2021,” said Piscatella. “Launch month dollar sales of Mario Golf: Super Rush were the highest ever achieved by a Mario Golf game. The previous high was set by Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, which launched for the Nintendo GameCube in July 2003.

Fan favorites return to the top 20

While Spider-Man continues to cling to the top 10, other games managed to grind their way back into the top 20. That includes Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2.

“Tony Hawk jumped from No. 51 in May to rank 17th on the June best-selling titles chart,” said Piscatella. “The Switch version of the game was released in the U.S. during the month, accounting for most of the gains.”

And Sea of Thieves saw a similar resurrection thanks to some new content as well as the increased attention from streamers.

“The June release of the A Pirate’s Life content update helped push Sea of Thieves up from 36th a month ago back into the top 20 best-seller’s chart,” said Piscatella. “Sea of Thieves originally launched in March 2018.”

Top 10 best-selling games so far this year

Rank Last Month Rank Year-to-Date Ending June 2021 Top 10 Games (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
1 1 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 2 Resident Evil: Village Capcom USA
3 3 MLB: The Show 21^ Sony (Corp)
4 4 Super Mario 3D World* Nintendo
5 6 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
6 5 Monster Hunter: Rise Capcom USA
7 8 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
8 9 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
9 7 Outriders Square Enix Inc (Corp)
10 10 Minecraft Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
* Digital sales not included
^ Xbox Digital sales not included

Top 10 best-selling games of the last 12 months

Rank Last Month Rank 12 Months Ending June 2021 Top 10 Games (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
1 1 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 2 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
3 3 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
4 5 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
5 6 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
6 8 Super Mario 3D All-Stars* Nintendo
7 7 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
8 10 NBA 2K21* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
9 11 Marvel’s Avengers Square Enix Inc (Corp)
10 12 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

June 2021 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Nintendo games in the U.S.

Rank Last Month Rank June 2021 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Mario Golf: Super Rush* Nintendo
2 2 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
3 3 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
4 5 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
5 4 Super Mario 3D World* Nintendo
6 7 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
7 8 Pokemon: Sword/Shield* Nintendo
8 1 New Pokemon Snap* Nintendo
9 10 Super Mario Party* Nintendo
10 14 Minecraft* Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

May 2021 NPD: Top 10 best-selling PlayStation-platform games in the U.S.

Rank Last Month Rank June 2021 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 NEW Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Sony (Corp)
2 4 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
3 3 MLB: The Show 21 Sony (Corp)
4 6 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony) Sony (Corp)
5 1 Resident Evil: Village Capcom USA
6 NEW Scarlet Nexus Bandai Namco Entertainment
7 12 Minecraft Microsoft (Corp)
8 11 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
9 13 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
10 81 Final Fantasy VII: Remake Square Enix Inc (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

May 2021 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Xbox-platform games in the U.S.

Rank Last Month Rank June 2021 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 3 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 5 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
3 1 Resident Evil: Village Capcom USA
4 2 Mass Effect: Legendary Edition Electronic Arts
5 8 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
6 NEW Scarlet Nexus Bandai Namco Entertainment
7 10 Forza Horizon 4 Microsoft (Corp)
8 7 It Takes Two Electronic Arts
9 4 Mortal Kombat 11 Warner Bros. Interactive
10 6 MLB: The Show 21* Sony (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

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