December 2020 NPD: Nintendo dominates with half of the top 20 games

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December saw new records for consumer spending on video games in the United States of $7.7 billion, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. The new PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S hardware drove that, but ongoing success for Nintendo’s Switch platform was also instrumental.

“December 2020 consumer spending across video game hardware, content and accessories reached a December record $7.7 billion, 25% higher when compared to a year ago,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Full-year spending also set a new record, totaling $56.9 billion, 27% higher than 2019.”

NPD also revealed the best-selling games of 2020, and you can read that here.

Here are the numbers for December 2020 in the U.S.:

December 2020 Dollar Sales, Millions Dec 2019 Dec 2020 CHG
Total Video Game Sales $6,184 $7,702 25%
Video Game Hardware $978 $1,350 38%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR) platforms) $4,732 $5,806 23%
Video Game Accessories $474 $546 15%
* Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

Let’s get to the software charts.

December 2020 NPD: Cyberpunk 2077 debuts at No. 2

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

Rank Last Month Rank December 2020 Top 20 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital from the Nintendo eShop, PlayStation, STEAM and Xbox platforms for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 1 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 NEW Cyberpunk 2077* Warner Bros. Interactive
3 2 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
4 3 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
5 4 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
6 8 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
7 11 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe* Nintendo
8 5 NBA 2K21* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
9 NEW Immortals: Fenyx Rising Ubisoft
10 12 Super Mario 3D All-Stars* Nintendo
11 17 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
12 13 Just Dance 2021 Ubisoft
13 6 Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity* Nintendo
14 9 FIFA 21 Electronic Arts
15 14 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe* Nintendo
16 34 Super Mario Odyssey* Nintendo
17 23 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
18 35 Super Mario Party* Nintendo
19 26 Ring Fit Adventure Nintendo
20 19 Mortal Kombat 11 Warner Bros. Interactive
* Digital sales not included

Nintendo

The word you’ll see repeated most often in the above chart is “Nintendo.” As the company’s hardware continues its historic sales pace, consumers are also vacuuming up a huge number of games.

“Half of the top 20 best-selling games of December 2020 were published by Nintendo,” said Piscatella. “Animal Crossing: New Horizons was 2020’s third best-selling title, and the sixth best-selling game of December.”

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077’s rocky launch couldn’t keep it away from the top half of the sales chart.

“Cyberpunk 2077 debuted as the second best-selling game of December,” said Piscatella.

And it did that without CD Projekt Red sharing digital sales, which likely made up a significant portion of its total revenue.

Call of Duty

The new Call of Duty: Black Ops — Cold War held onto the No. 1 spot on the NPD chart.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War was the best-selling game of both December and annual 2020, while Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was 2020’s second best-seller,” said Piscatella. “Call of Duty ranked as the best-selling gaming franchise in the U.S. market for a record 12th consecutive year.”

December 2020 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Nintendo games

Rank Last Month Rank December 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 2 Animal Crossing: New Horizons* Nintendo
2 3 Mario Kart 8: Deluxe* Nintendo
3 4 Super Mario 3D All-Stars* Nintendo
4 9 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate* Nintendo
5 1 Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity* Nintendo
6 6 Just Dance 2021 Ubisoft
7 5 New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe* Nintendo
8 14 Super Mario Odyssey* Nintendo
9 10 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild* Nintendo
10 15 Super Mario Party* Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

December 2020 NPD: Top 10 best-selling PlayStation games

Rank Last Month Rank December 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 1 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 2 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Sony (Corp)
3 NEW Cyberpunk 2077* Warner Bros. Interactive
4 3 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
5 4 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
6 6 NBA 2K21* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
7 9 Ghost of Tsushima Sony (Corp)
8 7 FIFA 21 Electronic Arts
9 NEW Immortals: Fenyx Rising Ubisoft
10 5 Demon’s Souls Sony (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

December 2020 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Xbox games

Rank Last Month Rank December 2020 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar sales Publisher
1 1 Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold War Activision Blizzard (Corp)
2 NEW Cyberpunk 2077* Warner Bros. Interactive
3 2 Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla Ubisoft
4 3 Madden NFL 21 Electronic Arts
5 5 NBA 2K21* Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
6 NEW Immortals: Fenyx Rising Ubisoft
7 6 FIFA 21 Electronic Arts
8 4 Watch Dogs: Legion Ubisoft
9 8 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Activision Blizzard (Corp)
10 11 Forza Horizon 4 Microsoft (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

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