Every month, the NPD pulls sales data from retail and digital sources, and industry professionals scrutinize the results for market info, while fanboys scrutinize the results to see if their favorite horse “won”. It does not take any data from sites, such as Blizzard.com, but, using comparisons over time, it can give you a good idea of how healthy the market is as a whole.
If you have been looking at these for a while, it is not uncommon to have a mixed bag, and January 2017 is no different in that regard. Overall, consumers spent $610.7 million on consoles, software, and accessories, and this was down 4% from January 2016. That is mostly due to hardware sales.
The individual categories are far more interesting. Hardware sales were down 19% from the previous year at $127.1 million. This is despite Microsoft saying they had the best January ever for the Xbox One, and the PS4 still beating them by being the best-selling console in January. The report does indicate that the lower revenue could be the result of lower sale prices, and that makes a lot of sense.
The console software sales made a huge difference last month with a 14% increase to $312.5 million. This was largely driven by Resident Evil 7, even though it only had five days. Capcom last enjoyed this sales euphoria in 2009 with Resident Evil 5.
The top five best selling games for January 2017 were Resident Evil 7, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Grand Theft Auto V, Battlefield 1, and NBA 2K17. Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue just missed out at number 6, followed by Madden NFL 17 at number 7. The top ten finishes with Watch Dogs 2, Overwatch, and FIFA 17.
Accessories were another lower point in the report with a 17% decrease to $155 million. To be fair, this might have been higher if people could find a PSVR. Like the spice in Dune, the stock must flow, but it seems to be easier to find than it was a few months ago. Also, maybe people have enough plastic items in their house for consoles that are entering a more mature phase of their life cycle.
A month may be down, but the industry marches forward with great vigor, and we look forward to seeing the results for February.
Since we are being unofficial analysts here, feel free to give us your professional assessment of the game industry in the comments. Are you worried, positive, or are you waving your arms in the air like you just don’t care? Put on your analyst hat, and let us know your predictions.