The NPD, or National Purchase Diary, tracks retail sales across the U.S. on a monthly basis including for gaming, occasionally receiving and reporting data from digital sales as well depending on the publisher. While Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 beat out Red Dead Redemption II last month in part due to how much earlier within October Call of Duty was released, the roles were reversed in November with Red Dead Redemption II winning the battle but not quite the war.
Red Dead Redemption rocketed to first place this month, which pretty much every industry analyst in the world expected. Despite only being on two platforms to Call of Duty’s three platforms including PC, the game still sold the most copies in November. That said, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is still the overall best selling game of the year, partly because of that PC release. Red Dead Redemption could pull ahead given December, but 2018 might belong to Call of Duty much like 2017 did, as well as the previous three years.
Though, anyone who has ever bet against Rockstar games having extremely long sales legs has ended up with monthly egg on their face. The sales of Red Dead Redemption II already exceed the entire lifetime sales of Red Dead Redemption by 40 percent.
Battlefield V made its delayed debut at third, which should quiet murmurs about Battlefield V’s poor preorders. People were still eager to pick the game up, even after the releases of Red Dead and Call of Duty.
Fallout 76 follows behind at fourth place, which might surprise some after the poor critical response and essentially weekly controversies. The game was either what the market was actually looking for or speaks to the intense power of the brand, both of which are solid reasons for Bethesda to consider Fallout 76 as a successful experiment.
Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee hit the fifth and sixth spots respectively and likely would have charted above Fallout 76 had they been combined and had Nintendo reported digital sales of the two games. The launch sales for the game are the second highest of any Pokémon game in history, behind Pokémon Stadium on the Nintendo 64. This bodes extremely well for Pokémon’s next mainline game supposedly releasing in 2019.
You can check out the full software list below.
|Red Dead Redemption II||1|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII||2|
|Pokemon: Lets Go Pikachu||5|
|Pokemon: Lets Go Eevee||6|
|Madden NFL 19||8|
|Spyro Reignited Trilogy||9|
|Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey||11|
|Super Mario Party||12|
|Mario Kart 8||14|
|God of War 2018||16|
|Shadow Of The Tomb Raider||17|
|Just Dance 2019||18|
|Grand Theft Auto V||19|
|Forza Horizon 4||20|
Some notable omissions are the Switch version of Diablo III, Hitman 2, and Darksiders III, though the THQ Nordic game released late in the month. It was a fairly packed month, however, so games that didn’t appear on the list may still have ended up successful.
In terms of hardware, this was one of the biggest months of not just the year but of the last several years. All three major consoles – the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch – sold more than 1.3 million units each in November. The last and until now only time three consoles of any stripe sold more than a million units was 2010 when the Wii, DS, and Xbox 360 came together to achieve that feat.
This time, the Nintendo Switch lead the charge in terms of dollar sales, but the PlayStation 4 still remains the best selling console in 2018, partially due to the incredible sales of the PS4 Spider-Man bundle ahead of Black Friday.
Next month, the major contender is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which Nintendo has said sold three million already.