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NPD March 2018 Gaming Estimates and Analysis: Far Crying Pirates
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NPD March 2018 Gaming Estimates and Analysis: Far Crying Pirates

It’s a month of uneven sales as new gaming hardware and software revenue fell a slight 11 percent from last year.

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Winter may be over, but the war is just beginning. Just kidding! March may be named for legendary God of War himself, Mars, but we’re not talking such things (yet). Instead, what better time to take a step backwards as number-crunchers Cory Galliher and Nate Evans cooperatively examine and extrapolate the numbers and estimates for relative health at retail and digital shelves across the nation from our good friends at The NPD Group for March 2018.

Total sales of new gaming hardware and software was actually down 11 percent for the month from last year ($1.316 billion from $1.478 billion). Perhaps a big culprit for this precipitous slide were lower sales of new gaming hardware, which dropped a steep 32 percent from last year ($331 million from $485 million). The top-selling console platform for the month is really a tie, of sorts, as Sony’s PlayStation 4 (including the PS4 Pro) returned to the top spot cumulatively, while Nintendo’s Red & Blue Joy-con Switch was the month’s overall best-selling individual console.

NPD also reports that even Microsoft’s Xbox One platform (which no doubts includes both Xbox One S and X brands) drove the bulk of pure spending for the month. There’s even better news for Microsoft – but you’ll have to keep reading (or listening) for the good stuff.

It wasn’t just lagging hardware to blame for the sales slide, of course, as even sales of new console and PC software decreased an even 10 percent from last year ($613 million from $682 million). It wasn’t for lack of trying, however, as Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5 not only topped the month’s sales charts but also notched a franchise-best while wresting the year’s overall best-seller title from Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World.

Another big surprise was Microsoft’s cooperative pirate-simulator Sea of Thieves at number two, which is surprising given the highly-anticipated PVP shooter was also the company’s marquee exclusive on the gaming buffet service Game Pass. It’s a Rare win for Microsoft – pun certainly intended.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however, as sales of new gaming accessories actually rose a sweet 20 percent over last year ($372 million over $310 million), thanks mainly to white-hot demand for newer gaming headsets. All those cooperative online multiplayer blockbusters won’t play themselves, and they certainly won’t play in silence.

Top Twenty Software: A Cry in the Wilderness

01. Far Cry 5
02. Sea Of Thieves
03. MLB 18: The Show
04. Kirby Star Allies
05. Grand Theft Auto V
06. Call of Duty: WWII
07. Mario Kart 8
08. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
09. NBA 2K18
10. Monster Hunter: World
11. Super Mario Odyssey
12. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
13. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
14. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
15. A Way Out
16. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
17. Dragon Ball: FighterZ
18. FIFA 18
19. Splatoon 2
20. UFC 3