Podcast

Popzara Podcast NPD December 2016 Sales Numbers and Analysis


Total gaming revenue was down a distressing 15 percent from last year in NPD’s estimates for December 2016.

January 27, 2017

In this calculating episode of the Popzara Podcast our esteemed math maniacs Nathan Evans and Cory Galliher take a closer look at the sales estimates for December 2016 from the NPD Group, the nation’s most accurate and snap-shot friendly generator of retail and online sales the videogame industry has to offer. Generally speaking, it wasn’t great news, as total revenue from new hardware, software, and accessories down a worrying 15 percent over last year ($2.8 billion from $3.22 billion).

New hardware sales were hit hard, down a troubling 20 percent over last year ($994.9M million from $1.24 billion), despite new configurations and hardware updated for the 4K resolution revolution. Of course, with new PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro hardware on the Sony front there was plenty to choose from, and they choose consumers did; the PS4 was the month’s top-selling platform, followed by Microsoft’s Xbox One, though decreased unit sales and price-tags didn’t bode well for overall revenue.

As for Nintendo, while the Wii U (RIP) was a non-factor, 3DS sales were actually up 2 percent, thanks to Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, and the bizarre success of the nostalgia-laden NES Classic is proving to have legs as sales spiked a further 14 percent since launch (and let’s not even talk about the resales online…).

Not even gaming accessories could escape the bleeding as total sales fell a whopping 15 percent ($547.6 million from $640.7 million).

Sales of new gaming software was also hit with the slide, despite a huge assortment of blockbusters to choose from. Console game sales fell a steep 12 percent ($1.19 billion from $1.35 billion). Even PC gaming software, usually reliable stable, fell 13 percent ($45.8 million from $52.9 million). While Activision’s latest entry to their annual best-seller topped charts, it was Square-Enix’s long-awaited Final Fantasy XV that grabbed headlines as the game became the best-ever launch in the franchise’s long (and numerically-challenged) history.

Top Ten Software Sales:

To the surprise of absolutely nobody (minus Cory), Activision’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare continues its assault on the charts, coming in at number one again. Coming in second is another long-running, never-ending franchise from Square-Enix, Final Fantasy XV, heralded as a game for “first-timers and fans” alike. EA’s own FPS blockbuster, Battlefield 1, shows staying power at number three, while EA’s Madden NFL 17 is fourth and 2K Sports’ generational NBA 2K17 rounds out the top five.

At sixth is Ubisoft’s hackertastic Watch Dogs 2, while Rockstar’s ever-present Grand Theft Auto V is never letting go at seventh. Nintendo’s Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are eight and tenth, respectively, which means EA Sports’ FIFA 17 squeezes in nicely between the two at ninth.

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