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Popzara Podcast E.168 NPD October 2016 Sales Numbers and Analysis
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Popzara Podcast E.168 NPD October 2016 Sales Numbers and Analysis

Total game sales were up 6 percent for October 2016, despite steep declines in both hardware and accessories.

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Chronologically, the world is still simmering in the middle of the post-Thanksgiving holiday madness that is Black Friday (and soon, Cyber Monday), which means oodles of new sales data await those addicted to number crunching. However, October is typically the calm before the storm, and the NPD Group has released their sales estimates and figures showcasing the relative health (and weakness) of the gaming industry’s performance at retail.

Once again, we’ve got Nathan Evans and Cory Galliher on tap to talk, discuss, and extrapolate what these fancy digits mean in real world terms. Let’s take a closer look at how things went down across retail shelves in October 2016 across the nation.

Overall, the game industry saw a slight 6 percent increase over last year’s totals: $875.7 million over $827.7 million, mostly thanks to a nice infusion of popular games. Microsoft’s Xbox One console continues its strong resurgence as the top-selling hardware for the fourth month in a row. This is, of course, thanks to the emergence (Gears joke!) of not just the slimmer, trimmer, and better Xbox One S revision, but also scores of stellar bundles packed with games people actually want to play.

Sony’s PlayStation 4, the previous hardware champ, also saw the debut of a slimmer model yet couldn’t topple Microsoft’s 4K-capable machine. Perhaps this will change when the PlayStation 4 Pro enters the fray? Notable is that Nintendo saw yet another bump for the price-reduced 3DS hardware in anticipation for Pokémon Sun and Moon.

Things were less rosy on the hardware side as sales of gaming consoles fell a whopping 20 percent over last year: $215.2 million from $270.3 million. Helping soften the blow, of course, were the fantastic rise in new console game sales that saw a huge 31 percent boost over last year: $505.7 million from $348.8 million. Remember: it’s all about the games, boys and girls, and it looks like there was plenty to go around in October.

PC game sales saw an unbelievably big jump with $33.8 million, up 172 percent over last year’s $12.4 million. PC game sales may not be the juggernaut their console cousins are, but any uptick is still an uptick. Gaming accessories, which include plastic figures, controllers, and cards, continued their downward slide at $121 million, down a depressing 24 percent from last year’s $160.2 million.

Top Ten Software Sales: Action Jackson

Topping this month’s charts is, appropriately, EA’s Battlefield 1, the experimental addition to the long-running FPS franchise. In second is another anticipated sequel, 2K Games’ 1960s set Mafia III. Third place goes to Microsoft’s semi-rebooted cover franchise, Gears of War 4, showing a softer side of futuristic carnage. Fourth place goes to EA Sports’ FIFA 17, once again demonstrating the growing power of football (oops, soccer), while 2K Sports’ own NBA 2k17, last month’s chart-topper, caps out the top five; having a digital Micheal Jordan didn’t hurt.

At sixth is Bethesda’s resurrected The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, while 2K Sports notches another takedown slam with WWE 2K17. In eighth place is 2K Games’ global dominating Civilization VI, while EA’s now multiplatform Titanfall 2 debuts in ninth place. Bringing up the rear is EA Sports’ Madden NFL 17, an impressive feat for a sports title that launched back in August.

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