The latest NPD Group report has become available. The report details the monthly sales in the gaming sector. Like always, this report is led by industry analyst Mat Piscatella and will have data that reflects total content spending on video games, including full-game, DLC/MTX, and subscription consumer spending across console, cloud, mobile, portable, PC, and VR platforms.
Let's get the headliner out of the way. Dollar sales on hardware have fallen 10% in October 2022 compared to a year ago to $424 million. Despite this, there was a double-digit % sales growth for both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles, which was offset by declines on other platforms. Speaking of the PS5, the NPD Group report states that the console was the best-selling hardware of October in both unit and dollar sales, while Xbox Series ranked second across both measures.
Accessories spending in October declined 8% when compared to a year ago, to $148 million. The PlayStation 5 DualSense Wireless Controller Midnight Black was the best-selling accessory of October in dollar sales. Overall, hardware and accessories sales totaled $4.3 billion in October 2022. While it still is a big number, it's still flat compared to a year ago.
Additionally, there was a growth in digital sales and subscriptions for console and PC game content. This is largely driven by the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Speaking of which, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was October’s best-selling title in dollar sales - the 15th consecutive year that a Call of Duty release has ranked as the best-selling game during its release month.
Eight of the Top 20 best-selling games of October 2022 were also new releases, including games like Gotham Knights, which ranked 2nd in October while debuting as the 14th best-selling game of 2022 year-to-date. All of this growth in digital content and subscriptions was offset by declines in mobile content and hardware. YTD spending has fallen 7% compared to this point in 2021, at $42.7B. You can see the charts that show these results below:
And now, we talk about the mobile sector. Major non-mobile launches like Overwatch 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 have added to the dual headwinds of macroeconomic pressures and increased competition for attention as U.S. mobile gaming spending declined year over year again. Barring a major holiday season, annual mobile gaming spending in the U.S. will see a decline for the first time ever.
Regardless of this vision for the future of mobile games, the leading mobile games by U.S. consumer spending were Candy Crush Saga, Roblox, Royal Match, Clash of Clans, Coin Master, Pokémon Go, Ebony, Township, Bingo Blitz, and Homescapes. For player spend share for specific game subgenres, Casinos saw the largest year-over-year share gain, while Shooters saw the largest year-over-year share loss.
The NPD Group report ends here, leaving us to question whether the holiday season will have any sort of reflection on the flat numbers offered by the industry during the last month. November 2022 still has some surprises left in store after games like Sonic Frontiers recently came out, so it'll be interesting to see the results once they are revealed.