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NPD March 2019 Gaming Estimates and Analysis: The Division Rules
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NPD March 2019 Gaming Estimates and Analysis: The Division Rules

Lagging hardware and software sales meant total game sales fell a distressing 11 percent from last year.

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On the cusp of spring comes the latest estimates for the gaming industry’s relative strength, otherwise known as The NPD Group’s tallies, culled from physical and digital registers across the nation. And, just as predictable, we’ve got number-crunchers Cory Galliher and Nathan Evans at the ready to help make sense of them all. Spring is usually a season of rebirth and new beginnings… but after a close look at the numbers, however, all we can think of is Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire. It’s all down, down, down.

Total sales of new gaming hardware and software fell a distressing 11 percent from last year ($1.1179 billion from $1.325 billion), a major factor in this precipitous decline coming from hardware – or lack thereof. Sales of new gaming hardware fell a hard 15 from last year ($282 million from $331 million). Nintendo’s Switch continues be the best-selling console, followed closely by Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One options.

Sadly, not even our usual hero of these monthly reports – game accessories – could save the day as sales for new gaming accessories (which including headsets, controllers, game cards and more) experienced a slight 7 percent drop from last year ($349 million from $377 million). At some point, everyone out there wanting a new gaming headset will have one – there’s a finite amount of Fortnite players in the world, you know.

But it’s all about the games, right? Well, even here the drops keep coming as sales of new console and PC software fell a familiar 11 percent from last year ($547 million from $617 million). Overall, there’s a nice swatch of diversity and different genres represented on the month’s best-seller list, even if that didn’t translate to record-breaking sales.

Leading the charge is Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, followed closely by Activision’s super-hard Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice slicing up plenty of sales in second place. Capcom’s latest reboot of Devil May Cry 5 landed in fifth while Nintendo’s fuzzy-filled Yoshi’s Crafted World is the highest-charting new game for the Switch on the charts, which also saw a whopping five exclusives in the Top Twenty.

Top Twenty Software: Tom Clancy Lives!

01. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
02. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
03. MLB 19: The Show
04. Devil May Cry 5
05. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
06. Red Dead Redemption II
07. NBA 2K19
08. Grand Theft Auto V
09. Yoshi’s Crafted World
10. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
11. Anthem
12. Mario Kart 8
13. Jump Force
14. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe
15. Far Cry New Dawn
16. Minecraft
17. Battlefield V
18. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
19. Borderlands
20. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey