NPD March 2022

I thought it was supposed to come out tomorrow.


[edit] Also some quotes from March 2022 NPD: Elusive new-gen hardware drags down sales | VentureBeat

Hardware revenue dropped 24% YoY for the month of March. Q1 Hardware revenue is down 15% compared to a year ago.

Game revenue down 13% YoY for the month of March. Q1 Game revenue down 7% compared to a year ago.

XBS #1 in dollar sales while NSW #1 in unit sales.

Best ever March for Xbox sales in terms of both dollar sales (previous high in 2014) and unit sales (previous high in 2011).

Top 20
  1. Elden Ring – Bandai Namco
  2. Gran Turismo 7 – Sony
  3. Kirby and the Forgotten Land * – Nintendo
  4. MLB The Show 22 – Multiple Video Game Manufactures
  5. Horizon: Forbidden West – Sony
  6. Pokemon Legends: Arceus * – Nintendo
  7. WWE 2K22 * – Take-Two Interactive
  8. Mario Kart 8 * – Nintendo
  9. Call of Duty: Vanguard – Activision Blizzard
  10. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin – Square Enix
  11. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands * – Take-Two Interactive
  12. Ghostwire: Tokyo – Microsoft
  13. FIFA 22 – EA
  14. Minecraft – Multiple Video Game Manufactures
  15. Madden NFL 22 – EA
  16. Triangle Strategy * – Nintendo
  17. Mario Party Superstars * – Nintendo
  18. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate * – Nintendo
  19. Animal Crossing: New Horizons * – Nintendo
  20. Assassin’s Creed Valhalla – Ubisoft
  • * denotes no digital sales numbers
Nice! Elden Ring still selling well and tops the chart for a second month as well as topping the chart for 2022 YTD. It was also the best selling title on all platforms (PS5, XBS, and PC). [edit] From a post further below, Elden Ring sold more copies in March than it did in February.

“Elden Ring repeated as the best-selling game of the month, as dollar sales for the title experienced double-digit percentage dollar sales growth compared to its February 2022 launch,” said Piscatella. “Elden Ring ranked first in dollar sales among tracked titles across PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.”

GT7 gets the 2nd spot, so it's nice to see there's still enthusiasm for that franchise in the US. 2nd best on PS5 charts as well, behind Elden Ring. [edit] From a post below, GT7 set a launch record for the GT franchise for dollar sales but not unit sales.

“Gran Turismo 7 debuted as the No. 2 best-selling game of March 2022, while also ranking 2nd on PlayStation platforms,” said Piscatella. “Gran Turismo set a new all-time launch-month dollar-sales record for a Gran Turismo franchise launch. Gran Turismo 7 was the fourth best-selling game of the first quarter.”

Oh how the mighty have fallen, COD: Vanguard is in 9th rather than it's customary spot at or near the top of the charts for the past decade+ at this time of the year. It's still #1 on the rolling 12 month chart, but it probably won't hold that position for as long as previous COD titles have. It's #2 (#2 in Feb.) on Xbox but only #7 (#4 in Feb.) on PlayStation, the effect of the pending Activision-Blizzard acquisition? Previous titles have basically ranked similarly on both PlayStaton and Xbox consoles regardless of the time of year.

Unlike Europe, it appears that NA might have had its fill of GTA V. Not in the charts. However, since Take-Two doesn't report digital sales numbers to NPD, it's possible it might have charted if those numbers were available.

You know what is in the charts? Minecraft still charting. It's like the Energizer bunny of game titles.

Regards,
SB
 
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eastmen

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Venturebeat finally has their NPD out, so I'm adding a few things from it. Will be adding to the OP as well.

March 2022 NPD: Elusive new-gen hardware drags down sales | VentureBeat

Amazingly, Elden Ring sold more copies in March than it did in Feb. Sales increased by double digit dollar sales percentage.

“Elden Ring repeated as the best-selling game of the month, as dollar sales for the title experienced double-digit percentage dollar sales growth compared to its February 2022 launch,” said Piscatella. “Elden Ring ranked first in dollar sales among tracked titles across PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.”

GT7 did so well that it had the best dollar sales launch of any GT game. Note that it didn't sell the most units of any GT game. Still, that's really impressive.

“Gran Turismo 7 debuted as the No. 2 best-selling game of March 2022, while also ranking 2nd on PlayStation platforms,” said Piscatella. “Gran Turismo set a new all-time launch-month dollar-sales record for a Gran Turismo franchise launch. Gran Turismo 7 was the fourth best-selling game of the first quarter.”

Regards,
SB
 
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BRiT

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GT7 did so well that it had the best dollar sales launch of any GT game. Note that it didn't sell the most units of any GT game. Still, that's really impressive.

Does that means its largely from microtransactions revenue?
 
Does that means its largely from microtransactions revenue?

It's also a 70 USD title, so it's the most expensive Gran Turismo game. NPD doesn't include microtransactions for the sales charts.

Older titles were 50 or 60 USD and I want to say that during the PS1 and maybe PS2 era they were 40 USD.

Regards,
SB
 

BRiT

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It's also a 70 USD title, so it's the most expensive Gran Turismo game. NPD doesn't include microtransactions for the sales charts.

Regards,
SB

Okay. I also see they have a $90 edition as well.

That's good to know they don't include microtransactions. I am even more amazed at Minecraft then. :oops:
 
Okay. I also see they have a $90 edition as well.

That's good to know they don't include microtransactions. I am even more amazed at Minecraft then. :oops:

Also, check out the edit I made in case you missed it. Gran Turismo 3 was the best seller in terms of unit sales but it launched at either a 40 USD or 50 USD price point compared to GT7. I'm pretty sure (but not positive) that PlayStation games were still 40 USD in 2001. Hopefully someone with better memory than me could straighten that out. :)

Regards,
SB
 

Nesh

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Inflation is hitting hard with relatively stagnant wages. Console gaming is becoming hugely expensive.
We have to factor that living expenditure is more costly now. Paying for a 70 euro or more for a game, when you have to cover other obligactions is a bit of a problem
 

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Inflation is hitting hard with relatively stagnant wages. Console gaming is becoming hugely expensive.
We have to factor that living expenditure is more costly now. Paying for a 70 euro or more for a game, when you have to cover other obligactions is a bit of a problem
This is true, but in this cross generational period, if you already have an Xbox One or PS4 and didn't upgrade to the newer generation, then games have not increased in price nor would hardware prices affect you. If the price of everything else is increasing that would mean that proportionally, video games have become a cheaper hobby then they were before.
 

Nesh

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This is true, but in this cross generational period, if you already have an Xbox One or PS4 and didn't upgrade to the newer generation, then games have not increased in price nor would hardware prices affect you. If the price of everything else is increasing that would mean that proportionally, video games have become a cheaper hobby then they were before.
Yeah but people arent thinking about spending on a product because it is proportionately less compared to another unrelated service or good that is higher in the buying hierarhcy. I.e if rent, gas and food got more expensive, they arent going to buy more games because prices remained stable on old gen consoles. If necessities got more expensive they are gonna save more to make ends meet not to buy a videogame.
Plus lot of people have upgraded, and they prefer to buy a new game on their new console, and because its more expensive it is possible that they might have decided to buy less often. Also due to shortages and an older gen that have reached huge saturation, there are people who are just not interested in playing their old consoles as much.
 

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Yeah but people arent thinking about spending on a product because it is proportionately less compared to another unrelated service or good that is higher in the buying hierarhcy. I.e if rent, gas and food got more expensive, they arent going to buy more games because prices remained stable on old gen consoles. If necessities got more expensive they are gonna save more to make ends meet not to buy a videogame.
Plus lot of people have upgraded, and they prefer to buy a new game on their new console, and because its more expensive it is possible that they might have decided to buy less often. Also due to shortages and an older gen that have reached huge saturation, there are people who are just not interested in playing their old consoles as much.
I don't know where you live, but in USA rent in 2020 had a huge spike. Something like 10-20% by some metrics (although, where I live it didn't seam to change at all). It was one of the largest increases on record, though, and 2021 and so far in 2022 things are still volatile, but less so than 2 years ago. I think if rent was going to impact gaming it would have happened when rent was the most impactful.

Also, used PS4s and Xbox Ones are more expensive now than they were a couple years ago. 2019 you could get an Xbox One S from Gamestop for about $200. Now they are $280. Demand for Xbox Ones and PS4s are as high as they've ever been, and the prices weren't depressed by the launch of new consoles. And retro games have gone through the roof. People are more interested in old consoles than they ever have been.

Also, isn't Xbox Series outselling Xbox One in the same period since launch, and PS5 is only slightly behind PS4, to the point that combined console sales are about equal (Series+PS5 is roughly One+PS4)? How are less people buying games and hardware if those numbers add up?
 

Nesh

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I don't know where you live, but in USA rent in 2020 had a huge spike. Something like 10-20% by some metrics (although, where I live it didn't seam to change at all). It was one of the largest increases on record, though, and 2021 and so far in 2022 things are still volatile, but less so than 2 years ago. I think if rent was going to impact gaming it would have happened when rent was the most impactful.

Also, used PS4s and Xbox Ones are more expensive now than they were a couple years ago. 2019 you could get an Xbox One S from Gamestop for about $200. Now they are $280. Demand for Xbox Ones and PS4s are as high as they've ever been, and the prices weren't depressed by the launch of new consoles. And retro games have gone through the roof. People are more interested in old consoles than they ever have been.

Also, isn't Xbox Series outselling Xbox One in the same period since launch, and PS5 is only slightly behind PS4, to the point that combined console sales are about equal (Series+PS5 is roughly One+PS4)? How are less people buying games and hardware if those numbers add up?
The numbers suggest a decline compared to last year's spending. How do we explain that then? Based on your points, thats how we should have been describing an increase, not a decline.
 

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The numbers suggest a decline compared to last year's spending. How do we explain that then? Based on your points, thats how we should have been describing an increase, not a decline.
Why would we be describing an increase? There was a decline YOY for the numbers that NPD reports and that's both historically expected, and has a causal link to the current supply chain issues the world is facing. But they aren't tracking sales of used Xbox Ones, PS4s, or even 3rd party sales of Series or PS5's on sites like Ebay of social media/peer to peer selling sites like facebook and letgo . If we look at Gamestop's website today, there isn't a new PS4 or Xbox One available, because they aren't largely in production. I know Sony said they were making more PS4's a while ago but I have yet to see one at retail, nor have any of my wholesalers had them, though I can finally get PS4 controllers that don't cost me $20 over retail. Gamestop still sells PS4's and Xbox Ones, but only used, and for more than they were previously as I noted. All those people paying scalper prices for their consoles... Those extra dollars aren't counted by NPD either. Although I would imagine that number would be lower than a year ago because the market price of a PS5 and Series X is lower this year than it was last, we don't have those numbers to compare. But the used market has made this strange turn where the older consoles have become inflated in price and not depressed by the release of new hardware. I posted links earlier to Gamestop selling One S consoles for $280, but we know you can get a Series S for $300 new and the availability have bee n pretty good. PS4's also sell for $300, which is only $100 less than a digital PS5 at retail if you can find one. These options only make financial sense for those who don't want a digital only console, and the next gen consoles with optical drives are both supply limited.

I'm not debating that the numbers that NPD releases are wrong, I'm saying that I don't believe that rent prices are the main factor, because rent spiked 2 years ago, the same year that PS5 and Series launched, and yet those consoles have kept pace time adjusted for the previous consoles and sold to the limits of their supply. Add in the fact that used consoles are higher now, which indicates a higher demand. I used Gamestop as a reference because they are the retail market leader, but if you look at ebay for example, all the buy it now prices are roughly $300 (including shipping) for a PS4, regardless of drive size, if it comes with a controller and hook ups.

This trend is also historically expected. If we look back at March 2015, a year and a March after the combined launches of PS4 and Xbox One, we also saw a dip.
https://venturebeat.com/2015/04/16/march-2015-npd-ps4-xbox-one/
Gamers weren’t as willing to open their wallets last month.

March was slow for new games and hardware sales at United States retailers despite the launch of a new Battlefield first-person shooter and the anticipated debut of the action-role-playing game Bloodborne.
[snip]
The big drag on revenue was definitely new hardware sales, which were down 21 percent
That's the start of a pattern, right? Numbers for 2007 are more muddied because while it was a year and a March after Xbox 360 launched, it was the March after PS3 launched. 360 saw an expected dip, but PS3 was new and expensive so it added revenue to the market.

My response was simply to the quote that inflation has made video games "hugely expensive". To reiterate, if everything else goes up in price, but the cost of a videogame stays the same, then it is proportionally less expensive. So if you already own a PS4 or Xbox One and aren't spending money on new hardware, and you aren't spending the extra $10 on games that are $10 more on the next gen versions, then videogames are less expensive today, adjusted for inflation, than they were a few years ago.
 

Nesh

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That's the start of a pattern, right? Numbers for 2007 are more muddied because while it was a year and a March after Xbox 360 launched, it was the March after PS3 launched. 360 saw an expected dip, but PS3 was new and expensive so it added revenue to the market.

My response was simply to the quote that inflation has made video games "hugely expensive". To reiterate, if everything else goes up in price, but the cost of a videogame stays the same, then it is proportionally less expensive. So if you already own a PS4 or Xbox One and aren't spending money on new hardware, and you aren't spending the extra $10 on games that are $10 more on the next gen versions, then videogames are less expensive today, adjusted for inflation, than they were a few years ago.
Oh there is a misconception overall that if inflation is up and game prices remain stable that means games are cheaper thus people will buy more.
That happens only if inflation is the result of a growing economy and thus higher wages. But what we experience the past two years and especially the past few months are external factors contributing to a lesser purchasing power overall.
It is not the result of a growing economy.

Shortages of course of new generation of hardware also contributed. Which I also mentioned and thus we agree there.

Why would we be describing an increase? There was a decline YOY for the numbers that NPD reports and that's both historically expected, and has a causal link to the current supply chain issues the world is facing. But they aren't tracking sales of used Xbox Ones, PS4s, or even 3rd party sales of Series or PS5's on sites like Ebay of social media/peer to peer selling sites like facebook and letgo . If we look at Gamestop's website today, there isn't a new PS4 or Xbox One available, because they aren't largely in production. I know Sony said they were making more PS4's a while ago but I have yet to see one at retail, nor have any of my wholesalers had them, though I can finally get PS4 controllers that don't cost me $20 over retail. Gamestop still sells PS4's and Xbox Ones, but only used, and for more than they were previously as I noted. All those people paying scalper prices for their consoles... Those extra dollars aren't counted by NPD either. Although I would imagine that number would be lower than a year ago because the market price of a PS5 and Series X is lower this year than it was last, we don't have those numbers to compare. But the used market has made this strange turn where the older consoles have become inflated in price and not depressed by the release of new hardware. I posted links earlier to Gamestop selling One S consoles for $280, but we know you can get a Series S for $300 new and the availability have bee n pretty good. PS4's also sell for $300, which is only $100 less than a digital PS5 at retail if you can find one. These options only make financial sense for those who don't want a digital only console, and the next gen consoles with optical drives are both supply limited.

I'm not debating that the numbers that NPD releases are wrong, I'm saying that I don't believe that rent prices are the main factor, because rent spiked 2 years ago, the same year that PS5 and Series launched, and yet those consoles have kept pace time adjusted for the previous consoles and sold to the limits of their supply. Add in the fact that used consoles are higher now, which indicates a higher demand. I used Gamestop as a reference because they are the retail market leader, but if you look at ebay for example, all the buy it now prices are roughly $300 (including shipping) for a PS4, regardless of drive size, if it comes with a controller and hook ups.

This trend is also historically expected. If we look back at March 2015, a year and a March after the combined launches of PS4 and Xbox One, we also saw a dip.
https://venturebeat.com/2015/04/16/march-2015-npd-ps4-xbox-one/
I am speaking about overall reduction of people's ability to consume. Not just rent.
People spending more on used games can reflect both of the arguments I brought earlier. Reduced ability to spend expensively on games, and unavailability of new hardware to those that can or want to spend more on games. The scalper prices is not reflective of the overall market. People spending on used consoles means accessibility on cheaper games and accessories.
You cant really track and make proper evaluation of the size of your observation to consider it outside of anecdotal territory because accurate data is unavailable. We know it happens. But we dont know by how much.

There are some points worth mentioning in your link:
“Physical software sales decreased by 6 percent from March 2014 as strong growth of [PS4, Xbox One, Wii U] helped to partially offset the sharp declines of seventh generation consoles, which were down 52 percent, and physical PC games, down 64 percent,” NPD analyst Liam Callahan said. “A bright light in the portable space was the increase in 3DS software sales of over 20 percent from March 2014.

“March 2015 software sales showed growth across all three eighth-generation consoles — PS4, Xbox One, Wii U,” Callahan continued. “[They] collectively increased by 58 percent versus March 2014. This is a sign of the health of the eight generation console space; especially when considering the strong March 2014 software releases as a comparison, such as Titanfall and Inamous: Second Son.”


In the article it says Physical Software sales decreased only by 6 percent, which was the result of the new generation offsetting the decline of the previous generation going down 52% since they had a 58% increase in sales compared to the previous year.
This time around we have larger reductions.
Its interesting to note that sales are very similar between previous and current gen consoles in total. PS5 shortages are supposed to be offset by XBOX Series better performance compared to One's which I think it is also outperforming the 360.
 

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Oh there is a misconception overall that if inflation is up and game prices remain stable that means games are cheaper thus people will buy more.
Where did say people will buy more? I simply said that games are cheaper if you adjust for inflation, because the price of most games hasn't increased while the price of everything else has.
 

Nesh

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Where did say people will buy more? I simply said that games are cheaper if you adjust for inflation, because the price of most games hasn't increased while the price of everything else has.
Well my explanation is still valid as to why they might also be buying less even though their prices remained stable (which apparently didnt either if we consider the new gen of games).
 

eastmen

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One thing to keep in mind is that with inflation there are a lot of people who may soon have the same console for 10 years that need to upgrade. The series s at $300 will give them a pretty good upgrade from the original xbox one and ps4. You get super fast load times , you get a smaller form factor , less power usage and of course next gen gaming features.

The other factor in the USA at least ( I haven't kept track in other countries) is that the series s is the only console so far that has any type of sale on it. So at $250-$275 sales it really is a bargin if your looking to move off a console that maybe died or is having issues. If your an xbox one original or early one s adopter its another great option at its price point.
 
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