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In what I’m sure is the most shocking news this month, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom was the best-selling game in May, according to an industry tracking company. . Circana (formerly known as NPD Group). It’s also the only new game released in May to make the list, though that’s probably not a huge surprise to anyone. Video game sales in general – and console game sales in particular – also rose in May compared to the same period last year.
|May 2023 dollar sales, in millions||Can
|Total video game sales||$3,665||$4,118||12%|
|Video game content (physical and digital full game, DLC/MTX and subscription consumption spend on console, cloud, mobile*, handheld, PC and VR platforms)||$3,310||$3,622||9%|
|video game hardware||$216||$338||56%|
|Video game accessories||$139||$159||14%|
“Spending on video game content was up 9% in May from a year ago, reaching $3.6 billion,” said Mat Piscatella, Circana’s executive producer for gaming reports. “Spending on full games and add-on content for console increased 58% compared to May 2022, offsetting declines on mobile and PC. Spending on new physical video game software hit its highest total in May since May 2014.”
Last month, I noted that a slight dip in April game sales might be due to players saving up for Tears of the Kingdom, as it was a highly anticipated major release. Looking back, May sales aren’t significantly higher than April – so it’s likely April’s drop was due to the then-ongoing effects of Elden Ring and LEGO Star Wars on sales last year. .
|Sales in dollars since the beginning of the year 2023, in millions||Cumulative end since the beginning of the year
|Cumulative end since the beginning of the year
|Total video game sales||$21,770||$21,826||0%|
|Video game content (physical and digital full game, DLC/MTX and subscription consumption spend on console, cloud, mobile*, handheld, PC and VR platforms)||$19,096||$18,729||-2%|
|video game hardware||$1,761||$2,160||23%|
|Video game accessories||$913||$937||3%|
“PlayStation 5 continues to lead the 2023 hardware market in both units and dollars,” Piscatella added. “Year-to-date content spend was down 2% compared to the same period in 2022.” He also added that while the black PlayStation DualSense controller was the most popular accessory of the year so far, the Amiibo Tears of the Kingdom Character Pack Series 1 led accessory unit sales. in May.
May 2023 Circana: Top 20 best-selling games in the United States
|1||NEW||The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom*||nintendo|
|2||6||Hogwarts Legacy||Warner Bros Interactive|
|3||1||Star Wars: Jedi: Survivor||electronic arts|
|4||2||dead island 2||Plaion|
|5||5||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)||Activision Blizzard (Corp)|
|6||3||MLB: The Show 23 ^||Several video game manufacturers|
|7||9||FIFA 23||electronic arts|
|8||ten||Mario Kart 8*||nintendo|
|9||2||Resident Evil 4 (2023)||Capcom United States|
|ten||49||far cry 6||Ubisoft|
|11||12||Ring of Elden||Bandai Namco Entertainment|
|12||13||Minecraft||Several video game manufacturers|
|13||28||The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*||nintendo|
|14||23||Super Smash Bros. Ultimate*||nintendo|
|15||19||Madden NFL 23||electronic arts|
|16||21||God of War: Ragnarok||Sony (Company)|
|17||16||New Super Mario Bros.*||nintendo|
|19||30||LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga||Warner Bros Interactive|
|20||20||Super Mario 3D World*||nintendo|
Several of the bestsellers from the beginning of the year still hold their own in the monthly bestseller charts. Jedi: Survivor and Dead Island 2 retain strong spots on the list after their April launches, and Hogwarts Legacy is back in second place (likely due to the launch of its PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions in May). Sports games continue to rank well and Resident Evil 4 retains the top 10.
A few games have jumped higher and higher up the bestseller list. This includes Far Cry 6, whose surge in popularity and sales is likely due to its launch on Steam earlier this month. Likewise, LEGO Star Wars has likely boosted sales thanks to May 4, when everything Star Wars-related goes on sale. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, on the other hand, likely jumped from the 28th thanks to fan anticipation for the launch of Tears of the Kingdom.
Link beats the rest of the May releases
As noted, it’s probably no shock that a new Legend of Zelda title made it to the top of the list. The game sold 10 million copies within three days of its launch. The franchise’s name recognition, coupled with positive word-of-mouth and the fact that it’s the sequel to the popular Breath of the Wild, have all played a part in its success. It should be noted that Circana only includes Nintendo’s physical sales data, as Nintendo does not provide the company with digital sales information, so the sales numbers are likely even higher.
While Tears of the Kingdom was the biggest release in May, it wasn’t the only game to launch that month. Usually at least one other release is on the bestseller list, even if it drops by the time the next month rolls around. However, Tears of the Kingdom is the only May game to make Circana’s bestseller list. This means that other May releases such as Redfall and The Lord of the Rings: Gollum didn’t even rate curiosity-based sales spikes, likely due to poor word-of-mouth for both titles.
May 2023 Circana: 20 best-selling games of 2022 so far
|1||1||Hogwarts Legacy||Warner Bros Interactive|
|2||NEW||The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom*||nintendo|
|3||2||Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022)||Activision Blizzard (Corp)|
|4||4||Star Wars Jedi: Survivor||electronic arts|
|5||3||Resident Evil 4 (2023)||Capcom United States|
|6||5||MLB: The Show 23 ^||Several video game manufacturers|
|7||6||dead island 2||Plaion|
|8||8||FIFA 23||electronic arts|
|9||7||Dead Space (2023)||electronic arts|
|ten||9||Madden NFL 23||electronic arts|
|11||ten||Ring of Elden||Bandai Namco Entertainment|
|12||11||The Last of Us: Part 1||Sony (Company)|
|13||13||Mario Kart 8*||nintendo|
|14||12||God of War: Ragnarok||Sony (Company)|
|15||14||Minecraft||Several video game manufacturers|
|17||16||Fire Emblem Engage*||nintendo|
|19||17||Speak||Square Enix Inc (Corp)|
|20||20||NBA 2K23*||Take 2 Interactive (Corp)|
Again, last month’s bestsellers haven’t changed much except to make room in second place for Tears of the Kingdom. Jedi Survivor retains a high spot on the list, not falling back at all. Dead Space, Dead Island 2, Resident Evil 4, and Hogwarts Legacy still top the list. As mentioned, Circana doesn’t have Nintendo’s digital sales data to factor into these charts, so it’s likely that Tears of the Kingdom even performs with, or perhaps even surpasses Hogwarts Legacy in sales.
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