NPD January 2022

@Shortbread did a quick post of it in the All Sales Thread. Putting up a thread since there's some pretty interesting information that we don't usually get from NPD.

January 2022 NPD: Pokémon tops the charts | VentureBeat

January 2022 Dollar Sales, Millions [Jan 2021] [Jan 2022] Change
  • Total Video Game Sales [$4,800] [$4,684] -2%
  • Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR) platforms) [$4,263] [$4,109] -4%
  • Video Game Hardware [$319] [$390] 22%
  • Video Game Accessories [$218] [$185] -15%
So, while hardware was up YoY, game sales and accessory sales were down. As the article notes...

These numbers represent a natural self-selecting decline in enthusiasm for spending on new games and accessories. Only the most determined fans were able to track down new-gen PS5 and Xbox hardware in January 2021, and those are the same people who are more likely to pick up a new controller and a couple extra games with their new device.

Basically some data showing how early adopters tend to spend more when they buy their console than later buyers.

What I find interesting is seeing just how little revenue hardware generates compared to software. ~8.793 billion USD for game sales compared to 390 million USD for console hardware. Take 30% of that and app. store owners (Sony, MS, Apple, Goole, Steam, etc.) took in a minimum of ~2.638 billion USD from the sales for games and DLC in North America. And that's a minimum since exclusives for Sony and MS would be the full selling price and not all game sales include digital sales.

Why is that so interesting? It shows that while selling hardware is important for console hardware makers in order to attempt to lock people into their ecosystem to get that 30% cut, there's still a LOT of money to be made even if you're only getting a 70% cut of a game's sale. Basically, MS and now Sony are looking at that and realizing that releasing on a platform (PC) that doesn't compete with console is free money.

And following on from that, the potential that subscription game revenue represents. It similarly locks a user into a "platform" only this is a purely software platform. For MS, that "platform" encompasses both console and PC rendering console less important, albeit still somewhat important to keep revenue coming in from console gamers. Throw in enabling cloud gaming for games on that subscription "platform" and suddenly that potential for platform agnostic revenue when releasing a game potentially explodes.

Take that a step further and the accounting department at MS is likely starting to wonder if they would be better off without the money sink (R&D, manufacturing costs, etc.) that console hardware represents if they also have their games on competing console platforms.

Top 20 for Jan.
  1. Pokémon Legends: Arceus*
  2. Call of Duty: Vanguard
  3. Monster Hunter Rise
  4. Madden NFL 22
  5. God of War (2018)
  6. Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  7. FIFA 22
  8. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe*
  9. Rainbow Six Extraction
  10. Battlefield 2042
  11. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
  12. Far Cry 6
  13. Minecraft
  14. NBA 2K22*
  15. Mario Party Superstars*
  16. Animal Crossing: New Horizons*
  17. Forza Horizon 5
  18. Halo Infinite
  19. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  20. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Monster Hunter: Rise and GOW (2018) saw a Steam PC release which is likely why they charted so high. Most of the GOW (2018) sales are likely from PC. Although there's probably some GOW (2018) sales from PlayStation due to the upcoming release of the sequel, it's pretty miniscule going by the following quote (also not in the PlayStation top 10).

“Monster Hunter: Rise was No. 3 in January, up from No. 94 in December, and God of War was No. 5 in January and No. 146 a month ago,” said Piscatella. “Both featured Steam launches during January 2022, which drove their respective gains.”

Minecraft continues to chart. GTA V does not re-enter the charts. :p

Forza Horizon 5 is now selling better than Halo: Infinite. Who would have predicted, say 5 or 10 years ago that a driving game would outsell a Halo title? :p It's a bit weird seeing 3 Microsoft games in the top 20 of NPD. Something that hasn't happened much since the X360 days.

While good, Halo: Infinite stumbled a bit WRT online Multiplayer. It had fantastic gameplay feel and execution but was let down by a rather inept BattlePass combined with not enough Map variety.

FH5 OTOH is a superb driving game and I emphasize "driving game" as opposed to a racing game (like Forza Motorsports or Gran Turismo). It has managed to capture the attention of not only racing game fans but also non-racing game players.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales (a 2020 game) continues to chart. PlayStation owners evidently can't get enough of the game. Great job Insomniac.

“Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales now trails only Marvel’s Spider-Man, and God of War (2018) in lifetime dollar sales for Sony-published titles since 1995.”

With a PC release of GOW (2018) now in existence, Spider-Man MM is unlikely to ever overtake GOW (2018) unless it also receives a PC release sometime in the future.

Unsurprisingly COD was the top seller for both PlayStation and Xbox, showing just how important multiplatform sales for the game are (IE - It would be the height of idiocy for MS to make it exclusive).

I usually don't post Top 10 lists for the individual platforms, but there's something I found interesting with the Top 10 for Xbox.
  1. Call of Duty: Vanguard
  2. Madden NFL 22
  3. Far Cry 6
  4. Battlefield 2042
  5. Halo: Infinite
  6. Forza Horizon 5
  7. Rainbow Six: Extraction [Tom Clancy’s]
  8. NBA 2K22*
  9. FIFA 22
  10. Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War
FH5 is behind Halo: Infinite on Xbox. I found that interesting because that means that FH5 must be selling significantly more than Halo: Infinite on PC for it to come out ahead of Halo: Infinite in the Top 20 all platform sales chart.

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I can't see anything in the article on how Game Pass game consumption is factored into sales. Could this explain seemingly declining game sales?