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December 2022 NPD: Holiday sales boost otherwise slow year December 2022 NPD: Holiday sales boost otherwise slow year
The U.S. gaming industry finished strong in 2022 despite it being an otherwise slow year, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. While the... December 2022 NPD: Holiday sales boost otherwise slow year


The U.S. gaming industry finished strong in 2022 despite it being an otherwise slow year, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. While the year overall was down slightly — in line with the common view that 2022 is a “bust” corrective year following the pandemic boom — spending on hardware and subscriptions boosted sales to a slight year-over-year increase for December.

December 2022 Dollar Sales, Millions Dec
2021
Dec
2022
Change
Total Video Game Sales $7,428 $7,583 2%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms) $5,597 $5,547 -1%
Video Game Hardware $1,319 $1,533 16%
Video Game Accessories $512 $503 -2%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

“U.S. consumer spending on video game content, hardware and accessories totaled $7.6 billion in December 2022, an increase of 2% when compared to a year ago,” said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. “Video game hardware spending grew 16%, offsetting declines in both content (-1%) and accessories (-2%).”

In addition to the monthly sales, NPD also provided its year-end statistics, including sales figures for individual games in 2022. Total game sales for 2022 were down 5% from 2021, a smaller difference than the company has recorded in previous months. Hardware sales actually improved in 2022, which suggests that the supply chain issues from earlier in the year have eased.

2022 Dollar Sales, Millions 2021 2022 Change
Total Video Game Sales $59,620 $56,556 -5%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms) $50,833 $47,475 -7%
Video Game Hardware $6,060 $6,570 8%
Video Game Accessories $2,726 $2,511 -8%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

Piscatella added, “The December growth brought full year 2022 spending to $56.6 billion, 5% below 2021 levels. Gains in spending in hardware and subscription content were offset by declines across other areas of spending. Factors impacting 2022 spending included continued supply constraints of console hardware, a relatively light slate of new premium releases, and macroeconomic conditions.”

December 2022 NPD: Top 20 best-selling games of the month in the U.S.

NPD tracks physical sales at retailers, but it also gets digital data directly from publishers. Not every company participates. For example, Nintendo doesn’t share its first-party sales and Activision Blizzard does not provide its Battle.net sales.

These charts are sorted by dollar sales — not number of units sold. And this is for full-game sales and does not include in-game spending.

Rank Last
Month
Rank
All Platforms Publisher
1 1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 3 Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet* Nintendo
3 2 God of War: Ragnarök Sony (Corp)
4 5 Madden NFL 23 Electronic Arts
5 6 FIFA 23 Electronic Arts
6 4 Sonic Frontiers Sega
7 11 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
8 NEW Need for Speed: Unbound Electronic Arts
9 13 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
10 NEW Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII: Reunion Square Enix Inc (Corp)
11 7 NBA 2K23* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
12 27 Just Dance 2023 Edition Ubisoft
13 14 Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of Hope Ubisoft
14 18 Minecraft Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
15 21 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
16 25 Nintendo Switch Sports* Nintendo
17 NEW The Callisto Protocol* Krafton Games Union
18 12 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
19 24 Splatoon 3* Nintendo
20 8 Gotham Knights Warner Bros. Interactive
*Digital sales not included

The list of best-selling games — both for the month and the year (see below) — don’t really contain any great surprises this month. Several games have jumped back onto the list thanks in part to holiday sales and heavy-hitting franchises like Pokémon and Call of Duty continue to top the list. November releases, Sonic Frontiers and God of War Ragnarök, both continue to chart well.

Out of the new games released in December, Need for Speed Unbound has charted the highest, beating out Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion likely due to the latter’s console exclusivity. The Callisto Protocol also managed to make the charts. Despite releasing during the tail end of the year, the title launched without much competition.

Recently, Ubisoft announced that it was cutting back on game development, canceling three unannounced titles. One of the factors it cited in these measures was the under performance of its late 2022 titles, namely Just Dance 2023 and Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of Hope. Both titles managed to make the best-sellers list for December, likely in part thanks to holiday sales.

December 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Nintendo-platform games in the U.S.

Rank Last
Month
Rank
Nintendo Platforms Publisher
1 1 Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet* Nintendo
2 5 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
3 6 Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of Hope Ubisoft
4 11 Just Dance 2023 Edition Ubisoft
5 2 Sonic Frontiers Sega
6 8 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
7 10 Nintendo Switch Sports* Nintendo
8 4 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
9 9 Splatoon 3* Nintendo
10 19 Kirby and the Forgotten Land* Nintendo
*Digital sales not included

December 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling PlayStation-platform games in the U.S.

Rank Last
Month
Rank
PlayStation Platforms Publisher
1 2 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 1 God of War: Ragnarök Sony (Corp)
3 3 Madden NFL 23 Electronic Arts
4 4 FIFA 23 Electronic Arts
5 NEW Need for Speed: Unbound Electronic Arts
6 NEW Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII: Reunion Square Enix Inc (Corp)
7 6 NBA 2K23* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
8 11 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
9 5 Sonic Frontiers Sega
10 NEW The Callisto Protocol* Krafton Games Union
*Digital sales not included

December 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Xbox-platform games in the U.S.

Rank Last
Month
Rank
Xbox Platforms Publisher
1 1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 2 Madden NFL 23 Electronic Arts
3 3 FIFA 23 Electronic Arts
4 NEW Need for Speed: Unbound Electronic Arts
5 8 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
6 6 NBA 2K23* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
7 4 Sonic Frontiers Sega
8 5 Gotham Knights Warner Bros. Interactive
9 7 NHL 23 Electronic Arts
10 9 Forza Horizon 5 Microsoft (Corp)
*Digital sales not included

Full-year 2022 NPD: 20 best-selling games of 2022

Rank Last
Month
Rank
All Platforms Publisher
1 1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 2 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
3 3 Madden NFL 23 Electronic Arts
4 5 God of War: Ragnarök Sony (Corp)
5 4 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Warner Bros. Interactive
6 7 Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet* Nintendo
7 9 FIFA 23 Electronic Arts
8 6 Pokémon Legends: Arceus* Nintendo
9 8 Horizon II: Forbidden West Sony (Corp)
10 10 MLB: The Show 22^ Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
11 13 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
12 11 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
13 12 Gran Turismo 7 Sony (Corp)
14 14 Kirby and the Forgotten Land* Nintendo
15 17 NBA 2K23* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
16 23 Sonic Frontiers Sega
17 15 Gotham Knights Warner Bros. Interactive
18 16 Minecraft Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
19 18 Nintendo Switch Sports* Nintendo
20 22 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
*Digital sales not included
^Xbox & Switch digital sales not included

Full-year 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling games on Nintendo platforms

Rank Nintendo Platforms Publisher
1 Pokémon: Scarlet/Violet* Nintendo
2 Pokémon Legends: Arceus* Nintendo
3 Mario Kart 8* Nintendo
4 Kirby and the Forgotten Land* Nintendo
5 Nintendo Switch Sports* Nintendo
6 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
7 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
8 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Warner Bros. Interactive
9 Mario Party Superstars* Nintendo
20 Splatoon 3* Nintendo
*Digital sales not included

Full-year 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling games on PlayStation platforms

Rank PlayStation Platforms Publisher
1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 God of War: Ragnarök Sony (Corp)
3 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
4 Madden NFL 23 Electronic Arts
5 Horizon II: Forbidden West Sony (Corp)
6 FIFA 23 Electronic Arts
7 MLB: The Show 22 Sony (Corp)
8 Gran Turismo 7 Sony (Corp)
9 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Warner Bros. Interactive
10 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
*Digital sales not included

Full-year 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling games on Xbox platforms

Rank Xbox Platforms Publisher
1 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 Elden Ring Bandai Namco Entertainment
3 Madden NFL 23 Electronic Arts
4 LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga Warner Bros. Interactive
5 FIFA 23 Electronic Arts
6 Call of Duty: Vanguard Activision Blizzard (Corp)
7 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
8 Gotham Knights Warner Bros. Interactive
9 Forza Horizon 5 Microsoft (Corp)
10 Saints Row (2022) Plaion
*Digital sales not included

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