October videogame sales +14% as preview of new-generation holiday season

  • Videogame sales growth accelerated in October, the last month before the first new major console launches in four years, as a double-digit gain in content sales offered a preview of what might be as the industry entered its crucial quarter.
  • Overall sales rose 14% year-over-year in October, to $3.84B, according to NPD Group. That's down from last month's $4.3B in a usual lull month before November brings major holiday releases. That brings year-to-date sales to $37.5B, up 20% from the same period in 2019.
  • Once again, all categories saw increases. Even as many gamers awaited this week's launch of the first new-generation consoles in seven years from Microsoft and Sony, hardware spending rose 41% from last year, to $259M. Strong sales in Nintendo Switch offset declines in the other platforms to spur the rise.
  • That brought year-to-date hardware spending to $2.5B, up 23% year-over-year, NPD says.
  • Spending on accessories kept up a strong growth pace as well, up 23% to $148M. Gamepad spending hit an October record, with Xbox Elite Series 2 Wireless Controller the best performer there. YTD spending on accessories is up 25% to $1.8B (a record).
  • Meanwhile, content spending rose 12% year-over-year, to $3.43B for October. That brings year-to-date content spending to $33.2B, up 19% from the same period in 2019.
  • New game launches littered the top five on NPD's dollar sales chart, topped by FIFA 21 (NASDAQ:EA), which came in a spot ahead of EA's previously launched Madden NFL 21.
  • Those two were ahead of three other fresh launches - Watch Dogs: Legion (OTCPK:UBSFY) at No. 3, NHL 21 (EA) at No. 4, and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit (OTCPK:NTDOY) at No. 5.
  • Rounding out the top 10 there: No. 6, Super Mario 3D All-Stars (OTCPK:NTDOY); No. 7, Animal Crossing: New Horizons (OTCPK:NTDOY); No. 8, Star Wars: Squadrons (EA); No. 9, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (NASDAQ:ATVI); and No. 10, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time (ATVI).
  • Related tickers: (OTCPK:NTDOY +2.0%), (SNE +2.3%), (MSFT -0.2%), (HEAR +2.0%), (EA +0.4%), (ATVI -0.0%), (TTWO +0.7%), (T +0.8%), (OTCPK:UBSFY +1.0%), (OTCPK:NCBDY), (OTCPK:SQNNY), (OTCPK:CCOEY), (OTCPK:SGAMY -0.3%). Retail stock: (GME +2.3%).
  • ETFs: (GAMR +1.9%), (ESPO +1.7%), (NERD +2.2%)
  • Previously: September videogame sales rise at moderate pace ahead of new consoles (Oct. 16 2020)

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