February delivered a sugary sweet Valentine for the gaming industry, as the NPD Group confirms monthly US retail sales increased 9 percent year-over-year to reach $887 million USD. That's a change of fortunes from the 21 percent drop in total spending reported back in January thanks to slumping software sales.
To be sure, software sales remained in decline last month; new game sales fell 9 percent year-over-year to $318 million. It fell to hardware sales once again to save day, rising 42 percent to $347 million as the new PS4 and Xbox One consoles continue to be in demand. NPD reports that the gap between the two competing consoles narrowed considerably during February, with the PS4 leading by a "narrow margin." Microsoft already announced that it sold 258,000 Xbox Ones last month, so PS4 sales figures should be slightly ahead.
The software top ten chart sees a few newcomers including The LEGO Movie Videogame (based on... The LEGO Movie) and two from Square Enix; while the Tomb Raider reboot fell off the top ten, the all-new take on Thief makes a fine accounting of itself by landing in fourth place. The storied Final Fantasy franchise also makes it return thanks to Lightning Returns, becoming the eighth best-selling title last month.
Nintendo earlier today attributed a 180 percent increase in Wii U hardware sales to the launch of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, which sold 130,000 copies (physical and digital combined). Unfortunately this wasn't enough to place Kong in the software top ten, but JRPG fans will be pleased to learn that Bravely Default barely did. According to Nintendo the 3DS title enjoyed combined physical and digital sales of 200,000 units across three weeks. Considering Bravely Default was actually developed by Square Enix, and February actually turned out pretty well for the JRPG giant.
|1.||Call of Duty: Ghosts||Activision||Xbox 360 / PS3 / Xbox One / PS4 / Wii U / PC||11/2013|
|2.||The LEGO Movie Videogame||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment||Xbox 360 / Xbox One / PS3 / PS4 / 3DS / Wii U / Vita||02/2014|
|3.||NBA 2K14||2K Games||PS4 / Xbox 360 / Xbox One / PS3 / PC||10/2013|
|4.||Thief||Square Enix||PS4 / Xbox One / Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC||02/2014|
|5.||Grand Theft Auto V||Rockstar Games||Xbox 360 / PS3||09/2013|
|6.||Battlefield 4||Electronic Arts||PS4 / Xbox One / Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC||10/2013|
|7.||Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag||Ubisoft||Xbox 360 / PS4 / Xbox One / PS3 / Wii U / PC||10/2013|
|8.||Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII||Square Enix||PS3 / Xbox 360||02/2014|
|9.||Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition||Microsoft Game Studios||Xbox 360||06/2013|