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July 2018 NPD: Nintendo Exclusives Comprise 50% Of Top 10

The sales results are in for the U.S. video game industry for July 2018 and Nintendo had an exceptional month. It secured the number one selling game with Square Enix’s Octopath Traveler, proving there’s still a market for classic turn-based RPGs.

But that wasn’t the only Nintendo Switch exclusive to make the list! The number 3 best selling game of the month was none other than Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. In at number 5 was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Super Mario Odyssey took the seventh spot and Mario Tennis Aces squeaked by at number ten. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker was the fourteenth best selling game of the month, a bit low for its debut month. However, do remember that these rankings are not based on units sold, but rather dollars made. That means a game like Captain Toad has to sell more units at $40 to compete with games selling $60. Having said that, many other games on the list have received discounts since they’ve been on the market for some time. One last item to consider: Nintendo does not share its digital game sales data with the NPD, meaning that all of the titles on the list could have placed even higher (with the exception of Octopath Traveler).

Summertime is typically the slow period for video game sales because people are on vacation and spending more time outdoors away from the TV. Nintendo is in a unique position with the Switch because it’s also a handheld, which is great for taking on long trips in the car or on the plane. This no doubt leads to increased sales by parents to keep their kids occupied and that translates into more games sold. That’s one reason we’re seeing games like Zelda break the top five again despite being a launch title.

Indeed, buoyed by the hot release of Octopath Traveler, the Nintendo Switch came away as the number one selling console in the country for July. In fact, the system sold so well for the month of July that it beat all records in recent years. You have to go all the way back to July of 2009 to see a better hardware month according to Mat Piscatella, NPD analyst. According to him:


“Nintendo is the top-selling full game software publisher for both July and year to date. Nintendo Switch is the only platform showing year-on-year growth in full-game dollar sales with gains of nearly 70 percent when compared to a year ago, despite digital sales on Nintendo platforms not currently being tracked by The NPD Group. Year-to-date sales of full-game software on Nintendo Switch have more than doubled when compared to a year ago.”


July’s results for the entire U.S. gaming industry are impressive. Total sales brought in $749 million (up 14% from last year). Hardware sales comprised $217 million (up 19%) of that total. Software sales brought in $246 million (down 12%) and accessories came in at $286 million (up 49%). Once again POSA game cards (PSN & LIVE currency) were huge thanks to games like Fortnite. Headsets continue to perform well too.

Here is the software listing for top game sales for July 2018, courtesy of Venture Beat & NPD:

These charts are sorted by dollar sales, not number of units sold.

  1. Octopath Traveler*
  2. Grand Theft Auto V
  3. Mario Kart 8*
  4. Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  6. Far Cry 5
  7. Super Mario Odyssey*
  8. The Crew 2
  9. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  10. Mario Tennis Aces *
  11. FIFA 18**
  12. Lego Incredibles
  13. God of War (2018)
  14. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker*
  15. NBA 2K18
  16. Call of Duty: WWII
  17. Detroit: Become Human
  18. MLB 18: The Show
  19. Minecraft**
  20. Destiny 2**

*No digital sales
**No PC digital sales


Nintendo Switch*

  1. Octopath Traveler
  2. Mario Kart 8
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  4. Super Mario Odyssey
  5. Mario Tennis Aces
  6. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
  7. Splatoon 2
  8. Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy
  9. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  10. Lego Incredibles

Nintendo 3DS*

  1. Pokemon: Ultra Sun
  2. Pokemon: Ultra Moon
  3. WarioWare: Gold
  4. Mario Kart 7
  5. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
  6. Super Smash Bros.
  7. Super Mario 3D Land
  8. Minecraft
  9. Super Mario Maker
  10. Detective Pikachu


[Source: Venture Beat]


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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