NPD Numbers Reveal Big Game Sales For 2018, With Close Race For Top Selling Game

2018 was definitely a great year for games, based on a new report provided by The NPD Group.

The company just revealed its numbers for the past month, as well as 2018 in general, and it was definitely a good year for several titles, particularly favorites like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, Marvel’s Spider-Man and Red Dead Redemption 2.

Red Dead

Based on the numbers, $43.4 billion in sales were made overall for the year, up 18 percent from 2017’s numbers. That’s good news all around, especially with the strong line-up of games we were able to get our hands on.

In addition, hardware revenue saw a 15 percent increase to $7.5 billion, and software revenue jumped up 18 percent as well, to $35.8 billion. That could lead to even bigger things in 2019, based on our starting the year with strong favorites like Resident Evil 2 and New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, among others.

Meanwhile, it was a close horse race for best-selling game of 2018, between Rockstar Games’ tremendous sequel Red Dead Redemption 2 and Activision’s multiplayer-focused Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. But in the end, Rockstar just couldn’t be beat, with its sequel selling over 17 million copies and continuing to do well in the month of December, with a second place finish over Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

To be fair, however, Piscatella did add the following tweet, which could make a difference with overall numbers once they're gauged:


The top ten best-selling games of 2018 were really something, even if digital sales weren’t tallied in the list. Let’s take a look at how the top ten fared:

  1. Red Dead Redemption II
  2. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  3. NBA2K19
  4. Madden NFL 19
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  6. Marvel's Spider-Man
  7. Far Cry 5
  8. God of War
  9. Monster Hunter: World
  10. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey

As you can see, franchise favorites like Monster Hunter, Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and God of War all did fundamentally well. And the fact that Smash Bros. cleared out so many copies in December to land in the top ten- at number five, no less, is triumphant. (We'll cover Spider-Man more in-depth in a follow-up piece.)

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And, of course, sports games continue to be a huge draw, particularly with NBA 2K19 and Madden NFL 19, although others like NHL 19 and FIFA 19 did pretty well, too.

We’ll continue to break down data from this report with other stories, so be sure to check back for more info. But, yeah, we’re in for a fun 2019. Here's to the months ahead!

What was your favorite game in 2018? Let me know on Twitter at @TheDCD!