It’s important to note that for Gears of War 4, no digital sales were included in its ranking. The inclusion of those sales could have catapulted it even further up the list, especially since there was a pretty good incentive to purchase the game digitally–buying a digital version on Xbox One or PC got players the other platform’s version for free.
Rounding out the top five are FIFA 17 and NBA 2K17, both of which were in the top three for last month’s report. The sports titles are followed by The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, WWE 2K17, Civilization VI, Titanfall 2, and Madden NFL 17. Skyrim’s uptick in sales this month can be credited to the release of its Special Edition, though no digital sales were included.
Also, despite Titanfall 2 releasing late in the month and being sandwiched between two AAA first-person shooters (Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare), it managed to break the top ten. The future of the Titanfall series has been in question, most recently by developer Respawn’s CEO, Vince Zampella. Without confirmed numbers, however, it’s hard to tell how successful Titanfall 2 has been so far. It’s perhaps worth pointing out that the PC-only Civilization VI edged it in this report.
Notable exclusions from the top ten this month are Overwatch, Grand Theft Auto V, and Call of Duty: Black Ops III. All three of these games had become top-ten mainstays in these reports, and this is the first time Overwatch hasn’t appeared in the top ten since its launch in May. Black Ops III’s disappearance, on the other hand, is understandable because of the impending release of Infinite Warfare, which launched in early November.
When it comes to how much money people spent on games, software sales increased by 36 percent in October 2016 when compared to the same month last year. That brings last month’s total to $539 million. NPD analyst Sam Naji added that “[t]otal consumer spend on software, hardware, and accessories grew by 6 percent” year-over-year, despite a 24 percent decline in accessories and a 20 percent decline in hardware.
“The release of popular titles such as Battlefield 1, Mafia III, and Gears of War 4 helped to increase software spending by one-third, offsetting declines in spending elsewhere,” Naji explained.
As for hardware, Xbox One extended its winning streak to four months, outselling the PS4 in October. It’s a notable accomplishment because of the slimmer PS4’s September launch and the PlayStation VR’s October release.
“Unit sales for the Xbox One brand of hardware grew by 8 percent compared to last October,” Naji said. “Average pricing for the Xbox One hardware fell by 17 percent due primarily to the release of the lower-priced 500 GB Xbox One S Minecraft Bundle.”
It’s worth noting that sales could have been depressed by the announcement of the more powerful PS4 Pro, which released in November. Additionally, Xbox One benefitted from the launch of console-exclusive titles such as Gears of War 4 last month and Forza Horizon 3 in late September.
Despite the Xbox One’s overall win, the PS4 Slim 500 GB Uncharted 4 bundle was October’s best-selling piece of hardware and accounted for 17 percent of total hardware sales based on units. In total, hardware sales declined from $270.3 million to $215.2 million.
Best-Selling Games in the US for October 2016
- Battlefield 1
- Mafia III
- Gears of War 4
- FIFA 17
- NBA 2K17
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- WWE 2K17
- Civilization VI
- Titanfall 2
- Madden NFL 17