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May 2018 NPD Sales Results

Video games have been selling extraordinarily well so far in 2018 and May proved to be no different. In fact total video game spending for May 2018 was $685 million, which is up 13% from $607 million for May last year. Comprising that number we have hardware at $186 million (up 26%), PC & console software at $274 million (down 4%) and accessories at $225 million (up 30%). Game cards and accessories saw big spikes in May – with Fortnite driving the sale of headsets across the category.

According to the NPD, and courtesy of ResetEra:

Best Sellers drive growth: Year to date, software spending is up 7 percent versus year ago, to $2.2 billion. Far Cry 5, God of War, and Monster Hunter: World are the year’s best-selling titles.

State of Decay 2 tops the chart: State of Decay 2 was May’s best-selling game, as launch month sales nearly doubled that of the previous entry in the franchise, State of Decay.

God of War holds strong: God of War was May’s second best-selling title, and now ranks in the same position in year to date sales, trailing only Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5.

Detroit opens higher than Heavy Rain: Detroit: Become Human was the third best-selling game of the month. Launch month sales of Detroit: Become Human represent a record high for developer Quantic Dream, with sales growth of over 20 percent when compared to its previous launch month best-seller, Heavy Rain.

Switch Software sees strong growth: Nintendo Switch software sales in May generated growth of 90 percent when compared to a year ago, delivering the highest software revenues for any Nintendo platform in May since the Nintendo Wii in May 2011. Please note that The NPD Group does not currently track digital sales on Nintendo platforms.

Sony was the months top publisher: Sony was May’s top-selling software publisher, driven by God of War and Detroit: Become Human. Ubisoft remains the top revenue generating publisher year to date, while Activision Blizzard holds the lead revenue position over the 12 month period ending May.

Hardware spending up for the year: For the 2018 year-to-date period, hardware spending has increased 15 percent to $1.3 billion. Spending gains for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Plug N Play devices such as the SNES Classic have driven growth.

Best May since 2011: Hardware unit sales in May 2018 reached the highest total for a May since May 2011, while May 2018 dollar sales reached the highest May total since May 2014.

Big 3 break records: Sony’s PlayStation 4, Microsoft’s Xbox One and Nintendo Switch all achieved all-time unit sales highs for a May month. Previous highs were May 2016 for PlayStation 4, May 2015 for Xbox One, and May 2017 for Switch.

PS4 is the months best seller: Sony’s PlayStation 4 was the best-selling console hardware platform in May, and remains the best-selling console hardware platform year to date.

Switch has a top selling SKU: The Nintendo Switch 32GB w/Neon Red/Blue JoyCon was the month’s best-selling hardware SKU in both unit and dollar sales.

Accessories Roundup: Sales of Headsets/Headphones more than doubled in May 2018 when compared to a year ago. Year to date, Headsets/Headphones spending has increased 83 percent. The Xbox One Ear Force Recon 50x Gaming Headset from Turtle Beach was the best-selling Headset/Headphone in May, while the company’s Xbox One Ear Force Stealth 600 Wireless Headset is the best-selling Headset/Headphone for 2018 year to date.

Gamepad spending grew 16 percent in May versus a year ago, with year to date spending growth of 22 percent. The PS4 DualShock 4 Wireless Controller Black is the best-selling Gamepad in both May and 2018 year to date.


Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel, ranked on dollar sales

  1. State of Decay 2
  2. God of War 2018
  3. Detroit: Become Human
  4. Far Cry 5
  5. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze*
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. Hyrule Warriors Definitive Ed*
  8. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  9. Mario Kart 8*
  10. NBA 2K18
  11. MLB 18: The Show
  12. Call of Duty: WWII
  13. Super Mario Odyssey*
  14. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  15. FIFA 18^
  16. Overwatch^
  17. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
  18. Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds
  19. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  20. Monster Hunter: World

* Digital sales not included
^ PC digital sales not included



  1. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  2. Hyrule Warriors Definitive Ed
  3. Mario Kart 8
  4. Super Mario Odyssey
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  6. Splatoon 2
  7. Kirby Star Allies
  8. Labo Toy-Con 01 Variety Kit
  9. Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  10. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


Craig Majaski

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He's currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.

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