The NPD Group released their analysis on the video game industry in 2018 showing how much Americans buy games for cheap and spend on games in general, but it came with a bit of shock. Red Dead Redemption 2 clocked in as the highest selling game in the US, but Nintendo’s year was record breaking, thanks, in large part, to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which managed to beat out RDR2 in December.
According to a release from one of the NPD’s analysts, Mat Piscatella, the games industry managed to sell $7.1 billion in console, portable, and PC games in 2018, which a 7% increase from the prior year, which is the highest it’s been since 2012, which recorded $7.5 billion worth of sales. The top 10 list goes as such:
- Red Dead Redemption II
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 4^
- NBA 2K19
- Madden NFL 19^
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
- Marvel’s Spider-Man
- Far Cry 5
- God of War 2018
- Monster Hunter: World
- Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
Red Dead racked up the most sales in the year, a sign of Rockstar’s strong status, but Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate managed to leave its mark. Piscatella says that Smash Bros. beat the record for launch month sales for an exclusive title in December 2018, which was first set by Halo: Reach, back in 2010. In a month’s worth of sales, Smash Bros. managed to fight all the way up to the 5th spot on NPD’s list for 2018, even not counting digital sales, which the NPD doesn’t track. It even managed to beat RDR2’s sales for the month.
Piscatella went to Twitter, saying that NPD doesn’t keep track of PC digital game sales for its rankings, which made a huge difference to the result, notable due to the popularity of getting to buy games for cheap in platforms like GOG.com or Steam. Especially with regards to Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Smash Bros. wasn’t the only console exclusive to enjoy great success in 2018. Sony and its PS4 enjoyed two major blockbuster releases; God of War 2018, from Sony Santa Monica, clocking in at #8, and Marvel’s Spider-Man, from Insomniac Games, clocked in at #6, and is the best-selling superhero game in over a decade, following the footsteps of Spider-Man: The Movie 2 ranked in at #5 back in 2004.