Consumers’ Video Games Spending Momentum Continued in December 2018

In December 2018, U.S. video game spending across hardware, software, accessories, and game cards grew 2% compared to a year ago, reaching $3.4 billion. For the year, U.S. sales in those categories reached $16.7 billion, up 13% over 2017. This is the highest annual tracked consumer spend total since the $17.4 billion generated in 2011. Here’s a closer look . . .


2018 dollar sales of console, portable, and PC video game software reached $7.1B, growing 7% versus a year ago.
This is the highest annual total for tracked video game software spending since the $7.5 billion generated in 2012.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate . . .

Packaged software launch-month dollar sales exceeded those of the previous best in franchise history, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, by over 70%.

It set a new launch-month dollar sales record for a platform exclusive in video game history, exceeding the launch-month dollar sales of 2010's Halo: Reach.

Title Spotlight:

Red Dead
Redemption 2

was the
video game
of 2018.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was the second best-selling title of 2018.

NBA 2K19
is the third
game of the
year overall
and the year's
sports title.

Mario Kart 8
finished 2018
as the second
racing game
of all time.

Top publisher: For the first time since 2009, Nintendo is the highest software revenue-generating publisher of the year.


For the 2018 year, hardware spending increased 8% to $5.1 billion. Console hardware unit and dollar sales reached their highest annual totals since 2009.

Nintendo Switch . . .
Generated the highest December hardware dollar sales for a single platform since the Nintendo Wii in December 2009.

It also achieved the highest December unit sales for a single platform since December 2010.

Was 2018’s best-selling hardware platform in both units and dollars.

Annual unit and dollar sales are the highest annual total for any hardware platform since the PlayStation 4 in 2015.

Accessories and Game Cards

Total spending on accessories and game cards grew 29% in December 2018 compared to year ago, to an all-time high of $1 billion.

Annual spending on accessories and game cards increased 33% in 2018 compared to 2017, to $4.5 billion – an all-time high!

Best-selling accessories of 2018 (dollar spend)

The PS4
4 Black

Switch Pro

Xbox One S

The NPD Group delivers monthly point-of-sale data on U.S. video games industry sales of new physical-game retail purchases and full game downloads from participating publishers on PlayStation, STEAM, and Xbox platforms.

Source: The NPD Group/Games Total Physical Sales, December2018