It’s the holidays, boys and girls! On this special penultimate episode of the Popzara Podcast we’ve got the final tally of the gaming industry’s most lucrative month: November! A month that includes not just the Black Friday Frenzy, but Cyber Monday Madness, Beige Wednesday Breathers and just about any of the fake holiday dates designed to separate you from those easily lost dollars, credits and other systems of valid currency. You didn’t really need college, did you?
November is typically the single best-selling month of the year when we’re talking videogame sales, and there’s no better tally-maker than our friends over at The NPD Group, with both Cory Galliher and Nate Evans taking to their microphones, lists at hand, to give you the best, most in-depth and loudest analysis of the industry’s relative strength, health and marketing effectiveness played out. So how’d they do?
Total sales of new gaming hardware and software were pancake-flat from last year: $2.693 billion versus $2.706 billion, with 2017 slightly edging out 2018. Sales of new gaming consoles did experience a nice 3 percent uptick from last year ($1.182 billion over $1.147 billion), with Sony’s PlayStation 4 once again in the lead. Only Nintendo’s Switch experienced actual growth over the year – no surprise since it’s still the newest platform on the list, but the holiday shopping frenzy was good for soon-to-be PlayStation 4 users (including PS4 and PS4 Pro), Nintendo Switch and Microsoft’s Xbox One (S and X) users.
It’s also historic: all three major consoles pushed over one million units in November, and only the second to achieve similar results – the last being back in 2010 when nearly every major console at the time (Nintendo DS, Wii, and Xbox 360 – minus the PlayStation 3) – moved over one million shiny new consoles in a single month. Yowzas!
While irrelevant to this month’s discussion, our hosts take a quick peak into Sony’s PlayStation Classic mini-console, which launched a bit too late to be included in November’s tallies, but since this is the last NPD report you’ll read before the holidays end we thought you’d like our recommend to STAY THE HECK AWAY! Special thanks to our good friend Mat Piscatella, whose constant reminders of just how well the NES and SNES Classics sold that, in all likelihood, led to this plastic disaster.
As we’ve come to expect from these monthly tallies, however, it was sales of new gaming accessories that helped save the day as gamers feverishly gobbled up new headsets, controllers, game cards and a lot more. Sales were up an astonishing 35 percent over last year ($503 million over $371 million), which is yet another sign that online multiplayer blockbusters continue their dominance everywhere – except the NPD sales and estimates charts!
Unfortunately, lagging software sales weren’t exactly the highlight many anticipated, dropping a scary 15 percent from last year ($1.008 billion from $1.188 billion). Last month’s top two games swap places this month, with Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2 claiming not just the month’s top spot, but 2018’s second-best selling game overall. Moreover, it’s already surpassed the entire lifetime sales of the first Red Dead Redemption by 40 percent. Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, still the year’s best-selling, drops to second but still manages to hold onto the first-person shooter crown from EA’s own surging competitor Battlefield V, which debuts in third place.
Bethesda’s much-maligned Fallout 76 shows there’s still plenty of love for apocalyptic online fun as it debuts in fourth place, while Nintendo’s double-dose of Pokemon fun for the Switch occupy both fifth and sixth slots on the Top Ten charts with Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. However, if taken as a single game, the Let’s Go package might’ve easily charted higher still. Gotta catch ‘em all!
Top Twenty Software: Yippee Ki-Yay!
01. Red Dead Redemption II
02. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
03. Battlefield V
04. Fallout 76
05. Pokémon: Lets Go Pikachu
06. Pokémon: Lets Go Eevee
07. NBA 2K19
08. Madden NFL 19
09. Spyro Reignited Trilogy
10. FIFA 19
11. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
12. Super Mario Party
13. Marvel’s Spider-Man
14. Mario Kart 8
15. WWE 2K19
16. God of War 2018
17. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider
18. Just Dance 2019
19. Grand Theft Auto V
20. Forza Horizon 4