April 2016 NPD: Dark Souls III, Ratchet & Clank lead as gaming attention drops 15%

April was a Dark Souls of months for a diversion industry.

Consumers spent $509.5 million on new game-related products during retailers in a United States final month, according to industry-tracking organisation The NPD Group. That’s down 15 percent year-over-year from $598.1 million. Unlike in March, Apr saw a vital decrease in both program and hardware sales. Only accessories, a shred that includes interactive toys such as Nintendo’s Amiibo and a recently gone Disney Infinity, saw any growth.

Here are a numbers:

  • Hardware: $142.1 million in Mar 2016 (down 23 percent from $183.7 million)
  • Software: $203.9 million in Mar 2016 (down 21 percent from $256.7 million)
  • Accessories: $157.6 million in Mar 2016 (up 4 percent from $157.6 million

April had a span of hugely successful launches in Dark Souls III and Ratchet Clank, though NPD researcher Liam Callahan points out that 2016’s games didn’t before scarcely as good as a games from a same duration in 2015.

“New earthy program declined in Apr 2016 due to a few factors: bad comparisons to final year’s new releases, and a bad opening of Mar launches in Apr compared to final year,” pronounced Callahan. “Despite some record-breaking new launches, there were bad comparisons to a recover of Mortal Kombat X in Apr 2015. Mortal Kombat X was a clever launch final year — a Apr 2015 sales exceeded that of a entirety of all Apr 2016 new launches by 18 percent.”

So zero got gamers utterly as vehement for this Apr as Mortal Kombat did final year. Additionally, Mar 2016 sales didn’t lift their movement by to a following month.

“Given a strength of Mar 2016 launches and how they carried sales over Mar 2015, it was startling to see a dollar sales opening dump by 16 percent compared to sales of Mar launches final April,” pronounced Callahan.

When it comes to hardware, however, a attention is still observant a decrease due to a plummeting normal sale cost of a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (even if these are some-more essential given of these systems cost reduction to make than during launch).

“Hardware sales declined 23 percent compared to Apr 2015, with a infancy of a decrease due to a 19 percent or $30.4 million decrease in console hardware sales,” pronounced Callahan. “Compared to final year, dollar spending for [current-generation] consoles decreased by 15 percent with an over 70 percent decrease in [last-generation] consoles. Portables also forsaken by $11.3 million in sales over final April.”

At a same time, this is not a red warning for console gaming. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are still trending 40 percent aloft than a accumulative sales after a same 30 month duration compared to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

NPD usually marks a tiny partial of a incomparable gaming industry. It doesn’t embody digital games, hardware sole outward of a U.S., or used shops. That means it is best to use this information as a image of a massive, some-more energetic market.

On to a charts.


  1. Dark Souls III (PS4, Xbox One)
  2. Ratchet Clank (PS4)
  3. MLB 16: The Show (PS4, PS3)
  4. Tom Clancy’s The Division (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  5. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3, PC)
  6. Minecraft (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3)
  7. Quantum Break (Xbox One)
  8. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, 360, PS3, PC)
  9. NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, 360, PS3)
  10. Star Fox: Zero (Wii U)

Ratchet Clank is a large warn here. It’s a PS4 exclusive, and it rose right to a tip of a charts distinct any diversion in a array ever has.

“Ratchet Clank had a best launch of any diversion in a Ratchet Clank authorization when adjusting for a array of days sole in a information month, with sales recapturing success not seen for a authorization given a tallness of a PlayStation 2 era,” pronounced Callahan.

With Ratchet offered so well, we can suppose that Sony is substantially kicking itself for not carrying some-more big, blockbuster releases that harken behind to a days of a PS2. The association hasn’t had a lot of first-party exclusives, though when it does, these games sell really well.

Of course, Dark Souls III was a top-seller for a month. You can see that a array is scarcely flourishing exponentially.

“The launch of Dark Souls III noted a strongest launch in a franchise’s history,” pronounced Callahan. “Sales for Dark Souls III scarcely doubled that of a predecessor, Dark Souls II, when practiced for days in a market.”

Other notable releases for Apr embody time-bending movement diversion Quantum Break, that didn’t light a universe on fire. It was a tip Xbox One exclusive, though it couldn’t outperform Ratchet Clank.

Another exclusive, Wii U’s space shooter Star Fox: Zero, also slipped onto a list during No. 10. That’s considerable deliberation Nintendo’s console has a distant smaller audience. If we usually demeanour during games on a SKU-basis (meaning we apart them by height and by customary and collector’s variations), Star Fox: Zero was a No. 5 best-selling diversion of a month. By that same measure, a 3DS role-playing journey Bravely Second was No. 9.


NPD doesn’t divulge hardware information publicly, though we’ve reached out to a console manufacturers about what they wish to share.

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo all declined to criticism on a opening of their hardware.

But while no one is observant how any complement sold, it’s transparent that Sony and Microsoft are offered fewer consoles. This continues to emanate a clever box for a probable recover of upgraded systems.

Gamers are regularly conference rumors for a PlayStation 4 Neo, that is allegedly a faster, some-more absolute PS4 that can play some 4K content. Microsoft has formerly talked about something similar, and apart rumors explain it is exploring a thought as well.

The advantage of new PS4 and Xbox One hardware is that Sony and Microsoft could potentially sell new systems for $400 again as against to a $300-to-$350 operation new systems are offered for now. That cost boost could assistance correct a dipping hardware numbers by boosting a normal sale cost and by removing a many dedicated gamers to spend $400 to upgrade.

More information:

The NPD Group provides marketplace information and advisory services to assistance a clients make improved business decisions — including building and charity a right products in a right places… All The NPD Group news »

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