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We Spent Over $43 Billion on Video Games Last Year

January 23, 2019, 3:15 PM UTC

Buoyed by a slew of highly anticipated and highly praised titles in 2018, the video game posted its biggest sales totals of the past seven years.

Overall, consumers spent $43.4 billion last year, according to The NPD Group, which tracks retail sales of video game hardware and software. That’s an 18% increase over 2017.

Red Dead Redemption 2, the long-awaited game from the creators of Grand Theft Auto, was the year’s best selling title, followed by Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Take-Two Interactive Software’s NBA 2K19.

The big winner for 2018, though, was Nintendo. While the company didn’t have the year’s best selling game (though Super Smash Bros. Ultimate came in at number five), strong catalog sales of existing titles along with new titles helped it become the highest software revenue generating publisher of the year. That’s the first time it’s held that title since 2009.

Similarly, the Nintendo Switch was the best selling gaming hardware of 2018.

The total numbers, both for Nintendo and the industry, are likely significantly higher than NPD’s, since the organization does not track digital sales. (It focuses only on brick and mortar sales, and digital downloads are increasingly becoming the primary sales method in the industry.)

“2018 was another record setting year for the U.S. video game industry,” said Mat Piscatella, video games industry analyst at The NPD Group in a statement. “Console, PC, and mobile platforms all saw significant growth, while developing portions of the market like subscription and streaming services gave us a peek into a future full of possibilities for the industry and gamers.”

Here’s a look at the year’s Top 20 selling games, per NPD.

  1. Red Dead Redemption II
  2. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  3. NBA 2K19
  4. Madden NFL 19
  5. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  6. Marvel’s Spider-Man
  7. Far Cry 5
  8. God of War 2018
  9. Monster Hunter: World
  10. Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey
  11. Grand Theft Auto V
  12. Mario Kart 8
  13. FIFA 19
  14. Battlefield V
  15. Super Mario Odyssey
  16. Call of Duty: WWII
  17. Dragon Ball: Fighterz
  18. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  19. Super Mario Party
  20. Pokemon: Lets Go Pikachu