June 2021 NPD: Ratchet & Clank and Mario Golf set franchise records

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Video games have maintained their sales momentum even as summer began in earnest in the United States, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. As more people turned to games during the pandemic, many of them are sticking with that hobby, even as they return to other activities as well.

“June 2021 consumer spending across video game hardware, content, and accessories grew 5% when compared to a year ago, totaling $4.9 billion,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said.

Here’s the full breakdown for the NPD’s June 2021 results for the U.S. video game business:

Total Video Game Sales$4,689$4,9285%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR) platforms)$4,291$4,3191%
Video Game Hardware$189$401112%
Video Game Accessories$209$207-1%
* Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

While hardware had the biggest jump, it is impressive that game content and accessories were so close to their inflated numbers from June 2020. That suggests that many new or lapsed fans continue to embrace gaming.

For 2021 as a whole, the industry is looking even stronger.

“First half 2021 consumer spending reached $28.9 billion, a 15% increase when compared to the same period in 2020,” said Piscatella.

Here are the results for 2021 year-to-date:

Year-to-Date 2021 Dollar Sales, MillionsYTD 2020YTD 2021Change
Total Video Game Sales$25,233$28,94415%
Video Game Content (Physical & Digital Full Game, DLC/MTX and Subscription consumer spending across Console, Cloud, Mobile*, Portable, PC and VR) platforms)$22,528$25,36413%
Video Game Hardware$1,620$2,34645%
Video Game Accessories$1,086$1,23414%
* Mobile spending provided by Sensor Tower

Let’s get to the software chart.

June 2021 NPD: The top 20 best-selling games of the month in the United States

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.

All Platforms
RankLast Month RankJune 2021 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 salesPublisher
1NEWRatchet & Clank: Rift ApartSony (Corp)
24Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold WarActivision Blizzard (Corp)
3NEWMario Golf: Super Rush*Nintendo
43MLB: The Show 21^Sony (Corp)
5NEWScarlet NexusBandai Namco Entertainment
61Resident Evil: VillageCapcom USA
77Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
810MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
912Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesSony (Corp)
106Mortal Kombat 11Warner Bros. Interactive
119Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
1211Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
1314Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*Nintendo
1417Assassin’s Creed: ValhallaUbisoft
1513Super Mario 3D World*Nintendo
162Mass Effect: Legendary EditionElectronic Arts
1751Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2Activision Blizzard (Corp)
1819The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*Nintendo
1920Pokemon: Sword/Shield*Nintendo
2036Sea of ThievesMicrosoft (Corp)
* Digital sales not included
^ Xbox Digital sales not included

Piscatella has some more to say about the performance of some new games and some returning hits, but I also want to point out Scarlet Nexus. That game debuted at No. 5. And it was No. 6 on both the Xbox and PlayStation charts. That suggests that anime-style games are building an audience across all platforms.

Also (as my GamesBeat Decides co-host Mike Minotti loves to point out), Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is unstoppable. The game is once again back in the top 10, and it’s likely still a popular option for consumers who pick up a game with their new PlayStation 5.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Unsurprisingly, the new and excellent Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is June’s best-selling game. But it also set a new record for the series, and it wasn’t all because of the increased $70 price.

“It achieved the highest launch-month dollar sales of any title in franchise history,” said Piscatella. “Launch month dollar sales of Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart more than doubled those of the previous high set by Ratchet & Clank in April 2016.”

Mario Golf: Super Rush

Nintendo had seven games on the top 20 for June, and the new Mario Golf helped contribute to that total. It also set a series record.

“Mario Golf: Super Rush launched as the third best-selling game of June 2021,” said Piscatella. “Launch month dollar sales of Mario Golf: Super Rush were the highest ever achieved by a Mario Golf game. The previous high was set by Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, which launched for the Nintendo GameCube in July 2003.

Fan favorites return to the top 20

While Spider-Man continues to cling to the top 10, other games managed to grind their way back into the top 20. That includes Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2.

“Tony Hawk jumped from No. 51 in May to rank 17th on the June best-selling titles chart,” said Piscatella. “The Switch version of the game was released in the U.S. during the month, accounting for most of the gains.”

And Sea of Thieves saw a similar resurrection thanks to some new content as well as the increased attention from streamers.

“The June release of the A Pirate’s Life content update helped push Sea of Thieves up from 36th a month ago back into the top 20 best-seller’s chart,” said Piscatella. “Sea of Thieves originally launched in March 2018.”

Top 10 best-selling games so far this year

RankLast Month RankYear-to-Date Ending June 2021 Top 10 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 salesPublisher
11Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold WarActivision Blizzard (Corp)
22Resident Evil: VillageCapcom USA
33MLB: The Show 21^Sony (Corp)
44Super Mario 3D World*Nintendo
56Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesSony (Corp)
65Monster Hunter: RiseCapcom USA
78Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
89Assassin’s Creed: ValhallaUbisoft
97OutridersSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
1010MinecraftMultiple Video Game Manufacturers
* Digital sales not included
^ Xbox Digital sales not included

Top 10 best-selling games of the last 12 months

RankLast Month Rank12 Months Ending June 2021 Top 10 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 salesPublisher
11Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold WarActivision Blizzard (Corp)
22Madden NFL 21Electronic Arts
33Assassin’s Creed: ValhallaUbisoft
45Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles MoralesSony (Corp)
56Ghost of TsushimaSony (Corp)
68Super Mario 3D All-Stars*Nintendo
77Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
810NBA 2K21*Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
911Marvel’s AvengersSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
1012Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

June 2021 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Nintendo games in the U.S.

RankLast Month RankJune 2021 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar salesPublisher
1NEWMario Golf: Super Rush*Nintendo
22Mario Kart 8*Nintendo
33Animal Crossing: New Horizons*Nintendo
45Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*Nintendo
54Super Mario 3D World*Nintendo
67The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*Nintendo
78Pokemon: Sword/Shield*Nintendo
81New Pokemon Snap*Nintendo
910Super Mario Party*Nintendo
1014Minecraft*Nintendo
* Digital sales not included

May 2021 NPD: Top 10 best-selling PlayStation-platform games in the U.S.

RankLast Month RankJune 2021 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar salesPublisher
1NEWRatchet & Clank: Rift ApartSony (Corp)
24Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold WarActivision Blizzard (Corp)
33MLB: The Show 21Sony (Corp)
46Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales (Sony)Sony (Corp)
51Resident Evil: VillageCapcom USA
6NEWScarlet NexusBandai Namco Entertainment
712MinecraftMicrosoft (Corp)
811Assassin’s Creed: ValhallaUbisoft
913Ghost of TsushimaSony (Corp)
1081Final Fantasy VII: RemakeSquare Enix Inc (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

May 2021 NPD: Top 10 best-selling Xbox-platform games in the U.S.

RankLast Month RankJune 2021 Top 10 Games (Physical and Full Game Digital for publishers in the Digital Leader Panel) ranked on dollar salesPublisher
13Call of Duty: Black Ops: Cold WarActivision Blizzard (Corp)
25Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019)Activision Blizzard (Corp)
31Resident Evil: VillageCapcom USA
42Mass Effect: Legendary EditionElectronic Arts
58Assassin’s Creed: ValhallaUbisoft
6NEWScarlet NexusBandai Namco Entertainment
710Forza Horizon 4Microsoft (Corp)
87It Takes TwoElectronic Arts
94Mortal Kombat 11Warner Bros. Interactive
106MLB: The Show 21*Sony (Corp)
* Digital sales not included

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