Consumers in the United States spent $641 million on gaming-related products in May, according to industry-tracking firm The NPD Group. That was down from the same period in 2018 as the industry continues to contract alongside the end of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 generation.

“[Spending was] 11 percent lower than a year ago,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said. “Declines in both software and hardware spending drove overall performance. Year-to-date spending across tracked video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards is down 3 percent when compared to 2018, to $4.7 billion.”

The industry has continued to see a growth in revenue from accessories and game cards through 2019. That’s in line with the success of free-to-play games with microtransactions and competitive games that encourage players to purchase headsets and new gamepads.

Here are the results for February 2019

May 2019 Dollar Sales May’18 May’19 Change
Total Video Game Sales $717m $641m -11%
Video Games Hardware $186m $149m -20%
PC & Video Games Software (PC, Console and Portable; Physical and Full Game Digital Formats from the STEAM, PlayStation and Xbox platforms) $302m $262m -13%
Video Games Accessories & Game Cards $229m $230m flat

Let’s get to the charts.

Software

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 sales, and Activision Blizzard does not provide its Battle.net sales.

These charts are sorted by dollar sales — not number of units sold.

The best-selling games of May 2019 in the U.S.

  1. Mortal Kombat 11
  2. Days Gone
  3. Total War: Three Kingdoms
  4. Rage 2*
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  7. Red Dead Redemption II
  8. MLB 19: The Show
  9. Minecraft**
  10. NBA 2K19
  11. Mario Kart 8*
  12. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2**
  13. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4**
  14. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe*
  15. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  16. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  17. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  18. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  19. Team Sonic Racing
  20. Yoshi’s Crafted World*

*No digital sales
*
No PC digital sales

It was a tough month for software sales due in large part to a dearth of new releases. The top two best-selling games of May were both April releases. Piscatella said that release-calendar weakness was evident in the sales.

“Dollar sales of tracked console, portable, and PC video game software reached $262 million in May 2019, falling 13 percent when compared to a year ago,” said Piscatella. “May 2019 experienced the lowest software sales for a May month since 2013, which hit only $222 million. Total dollar sales of new releases in May 2019 are the lowest for new releases in a May month since May 1998.”

But while May was weak, sales are still just ahead of last year.

“Year-to-date dollar sales of tracked console, portable, and PC video game software have increased 2 percent, to $2.2 billion,” said Piscatella. “Nintendo Switch sales growth has been offset by declines across all other platforms.”

But while Nintendo’s hybrid handheld/home console is driving people to buy more games, 2019 is likely going to end the year down overall. The fall just doesn’t have any releases to compare to Red Dead Redemption 2.

Mortal Kombat 11

The fighting series is more successful than ever.

“Mortal Kombat 11 repeated as the best-selling game of the month and is now the best-selling game of 2019 year to date,” said Piscatella. “Month 2 sales of Mortal Kombat 11 nearly doubled the comparable sales of any other Mortal Kombat game in the history of the franchise. Mortal Kombat 11 was the best-selling game of May on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.”

Days Gone

The first-party PlayStation release took advantage of the weak May.

“Days Gone was the second best-selling game of May,” said Piscatella. “It repeated its April performance, and is now the eighth best-selling game of 2019 year-to-date.”

Minecraft

Minecraft was once a regular on the top 10 with a streak that lasted for years. And now, after hitting its tenth anniversary, the block-building phenom is back.

“Minecraft returns to the monthly top 10 best-sellers list, ranking as the ninth best-selling game of May,” said Piscatella. “It also ranked as the seventh best-selling game of the month on Xbox One.”

Rage 2

Worth noting that Rage 2 did release on May 14, but Bethesda does not share its digital sales with NPD. Without those digital sales, the game ended the month at No. 4 overall. It likely did better than that once you do include digital, but it’s also worth remembering that big Nintendo games often end up in the top 3 and they also don’t include digital sales. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is was the No. 6 best-selling game in May with only physical sales.

The rest of the software charts

Top 10 best-selling games so far this year

  1. Mortal Kombat 11
  2. Kingdom Hearts III
  3. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2**
  4. Anthem**
  5. Resident Evil 2 2019
  6. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  7. Red Dead Redemption II
  8. Days Gone
  9. MLB 19: The Show
  10. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Top 10 best-selling games over the last 12 months

  1. Red Dead Redemption II
  2. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII**
  3. NBA 2K19
  4. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  5. Madden NFL 19**
  6. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  7. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  8. Mortal Kombat 11
  9. FIFA 19**
  10. Kingdom Hearts III

Xbox One May 2019

  1. Mortal Kombat 11
  2. Rage 2*
  3. Red Dead Redemption II
  4. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. NBA 2K19
  7. Minecraft
  8. Forza Horizon 4
  9. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
  10. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

PlayStation 4 May 2019

  1. Mortal Kombat 11
  2. Rage 2*
  3. Red Dead Redemption II
  4. Tom Clancy’s The Division 2
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. NBA 2K19
  7. Minecraft
  8. Forza Horizon 4
  9. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
  10. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege

Nintendo Switch May 2019

  1. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*
  2. Mario Kart 8*
  3. New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe*
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
  5. Mortal Kombat 11
  6. Yoshi’s Crafted World*
  7. Super Mario Party*
  8. Super Mario Odyssey*
  9. Pokemon: Lets Go Pikachu*
  10. Pokemon: Lets Go Eevee*

Nintendo 3DS May 2019

  1. Pokemon: Ultra Sun*
  2. Pokemon: Ultra Moon*
  3. Detective Pikachu*
  4. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D*
  5. Super Mario Maker*
  6. Mario Kart 7*
  7. Super Smash Bros.*
  8. Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn*
  9. Luigi’s Mansion*
  10. Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr’s Journey*



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