Gaming

November 2022 NPD: God of War, Sonic and Pokémon chart high


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Several of November’s game releases have shot to the top — well, close to the top — of the charts, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. Consumer spending in the U.S. is also slightly higher than it was last year, thanks in part to a surge in hardware sales. Overall spending for the year is still down slightly compared with 2021.

November 2022 Dollar Sales, MillionsNov
2021
Nov
2022
Change
Total Video Game Sales$6,111$6,2863%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR platforms)$4,983$4,742-5%
Video Game Hardware$866$1,25445%
Video Game Accessories$262$28910%
*Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

“Strong hardware performance in the month of November (45% increase vs. year ago to $1.3 billion) was due primarily to a significant increase in PlayStation 5 volume when compared to a year ago,” said NPD analyst Mat Piscatella. “PlayStation 5 was November’s best-selling hardware platform in both unit and dollar sales, while Nintendo Switch ranked 2nd across both measures. PlayStation 5 remains the best-selling hardware platform of 2022 in year-to-date dollar sales, while Nintendo Switch leads in units.”

The increase in hardware sales is likely driven in part by holiday sales. Piscatella noted in a LinkedIn post that sales of hardware bundles (which can be slightly more expensive than the consoles alone) are counted towards hardware sales, not software. An increase in available units to purchase also likely helped move the needle.

Piscatella added, “November’s strong performance brings year-to-date spending to $49.0 billion, a 6% decline when compared to the same period in 2021.”

November 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.

RankLast
Month
Rank
All PlatformsPublisher
11Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2NEWGod of War RagnarökSony (Corp)
3NEWPokémon Scarlet/Violet*Nintendo
4NEWSonic FrontiersSega
54Madden NFL 23Electronic Arts
63FIFA 23Electronic Arts
78NBA 2K23*Take-Two Interactive
82Gotham KnightsWarner Bros. Interactive
939Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesSony (Corp)
1047Mario Party Superstars*Nintendo
1110Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
1228Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
1311Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
146Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of HopeUbisoft
157Persona 5Atlus
165NHL 23Electronic Arts
17NEWTactics Ogre RebornSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
1813MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
1940Horizon 2: Forbidden WestSony (Corp)
2036The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*Nintendo
*Digital sales not included

While several new releases are jockeying for 2nd place on the charts, they haven’t toppled Modern Warfare II. In fact, in terms of year-to-date sales, MWII has officially dethroned Elden Ring — which just won Game of the Year at the Game Awards — as the best-seller. It also now outranks Bandai Namco’s hit as the best-selling game of the year and the last 12 months.

In response to the NPD report, Activision president Rob Kostich said in a statement, “From the start, the excitement for Modern Warfare II has been incredible. We’re grateful to our fans, who have come together in record numbers. We know our players always have many entertainment choices in front of them, which our teams recognize and are constantly driving to create exciting, new experiences. Our first mid-season content refresh is only days away, and there’s so much more to come in 2023.”

November releases shoot up the charts

November saw the release of several popular franchise games. God of War Ragnarök, Elden Ring’s primary competitor at The Game Awards, immediately jumped to 2nd place. Considering it was ones Sony’s most successful first-party launches to date, it’s not a shock. It’s also charting in the year’s top-selling games, and tops PlayStation’s own charts (see below).

The other major franchise release this month was Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, which also made it onto the best-seller list at rank 3. Considering both Legends: Arceus and Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl have both remained on at least one of these charts all year, this is also not surprising. Sonic Frontiers, however, is doing almost as well as the other two at rank 4. While Sonic has just as much name recognition, it’s a bit of a surprise (but a gratifying one) to see it running so closely with the leaders of the pack.

Black Friday boosts numbers for games on sale

As the charts show, several games that were further down the list have jumped up some places. It’s not as dramatic a leap as, say, October’s Persona and Nier boosts, but it’s worth noting all the same. Mario Party Superstars, for example, went from 47th place to 10th thanks to being half-off during the sale period. Similarly, Forbidden West and Miles Morales got a sales boost thanks to holiday price cut.

November 2022 NPD: 20 best-selling games of 2022 so far

RankLast
Month
Rank
All PlatformsPublisher
12Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
21Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
34Madden NFL 23Electronic Arts
43LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
5NEWGod of War RagnarökSony (Corp)
65Pokémon Legends: Arceus*Nintendo
7NEWPokémon Scarlet/Violet*Nintendo
86Horizon II: Forbidden WestSony (Corp)
98FIFA 23Electronic Arts
107MLB: The Show 22^Multiple Video Game Manufacturers
119Call of Duty: VanguardActivision Blizzard (Corp)
1210Gran Turismo 7Sony (Corp)
1311Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
1412Kirby and the Forgotten LandNintendo
1514Gotham KnightsWarner Bros. Interactive
1613MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
1721NBA 2K23*Take-Two Interactive
1815Nintendo Switch Sports*Nintendo
1920Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesSony (Corp)
2022Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
*Digital sales not included
^Xbox & Switch digital sales not included

November 2022 NPD: Top 10 best-selling games of the last 12 months

RankLast
Month
Rank
All PlatformsPublisher
13Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
21Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
36Madden NFL 23Electronic Arts
44LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaWarner Bros. Interactive
5NEWGod of War RagnarökSony (Corp)
62Call of Duty: VanguardActivision Blizzard (Corp)
78Pokémon Legends: Arceus*Nintendo
8NEWPokémon Scarlet/Violet*Nintendo
99Horizon II: Forbidden WestSony (Corp)
1016FIFA 23Electronic Arts
*Digital sales not included

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

RankLast
Month
Rank
Nintendo PlatformsPublisher
1NEWPokémon Scarlet/Violet*Nintendo
2NEWSonic FrontiersSega
317Mario Party Superstars*Nintendo
411Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
54Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
61Mario+Rabbids: Sparks of HopeUbisoft
713The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*Nintendo
87Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*Nintendo
95Splatoon 3*Nintendo
106Nintendo Switch Sports*Nintendo
*Digital sales not included

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

RankLast
Month
Rank
PlayStation PlatformsPublisher
1NEWGod of War RagnarökSony (Corp)
21Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
34Madden NFL 23Electronic Arts
43FIFA 23Electronic Arts
5NEWSonic FrontiersSega
66NBA 2K23*Take-Two Interactive
72Gotham KnightsWarner Bros. Interactive
811Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesSony (Corp)
912Horizon II: Forbidden WestSony (Corp)
1013Gran Turismo 7Sony (Corp)
*Digital sales not included

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

RankLast
Month
Rank
Xbox PlatformsPublisher
11Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (2022)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
23Madden NFL 23Electronic Arts
34FIFA 23Electronic Arts
4NEWSonic FrontiersSega
52Gotham KnightsWarner Bros. Interactive
66NBA 2K23*Take-Two Interactive
75NHL 23Electronic Arts
88Elden RingBandai Namco Entertainment
99Forza Horizon 5Microsoft (Corp)
107Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold WarActivision Blizzard (Corp)
*Digital sales not included

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