November 2019 Edition: Showing October 2019 Data

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Top 10 Selling Games (Physical & Digital)

 

by NPD's Mat Piscatella

Watch Mat Piscatella's October run down below!

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Takes Top Spot in Promo Rankings

by Corey Evans

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare had 153 active campaigns in October. This is the highest monthly total of the year, even without any promotions on Steam (the digital PC version released exclusively on Blizzard’s Battle.net launcher.)

The PS4 and Xbox One storefronts don’t often mark their placement artwork with specific calls to pre-purchase a game. However, Modern Warfare made a concerted effort in this regard. There were 37 campaigns across both storefronts from the 1st of the month leading up to the launch date on 10/25. 17 of those 37 campaigns were Pre-Order promotion types (where the ad specifically tells the viewer to pre-order the game), which is a higher ratio than normal.

“The End” of Fortnite Marks More Than Just a New Chapter

By Sartori Bernbeck

On October 13th, millions of screens around the country went black as Fortnite servers went offline for its “The End” event, which marked the end of Chapter 1 Season 10. This was the first time in the game’s history that the servers were taken offline in such a manner, and it caused a lot of commotion. Gamers’ emotions ran high around the country as they waited with no word from Epic Games on when Fortnite would be back online. During this downtime, the internet exploded with discussion around what was happening, when the servers would be back online, and speculation about what would change. Fortnite finally came back online on October 15th and with it, Chapter 2 Season 1.

For most companies, taking a game offline for a few days would be considered a bad strategy, but since Fortnite is so popular, it managed to have the inverse effect. The widespread discussions brought Fortnite to the forefront of everyone’s minds, and as a result, increased interest to levels the game hadn’t seen before.

According to Epic Games, over 7 million gamers around the world watched “The End” at some point during its duration. The event was so successful at generating buzz for the game that October 13th became the day with the highest peak viewership Fortnite had ever had on Twitch – peak concurrent viewership for the game was over 1.6 million. Additionally, the game had more search interest on Google that week than it had in any week prior. By all accounts, this was a very successful marketing effort by Epic Games, though such a tactic would be trickier to replicate for anyone not in a market-leading position.

While Fortnite dominated online discussions in October, League of Legends held dominance over the competition in terms of total Twitch viewership thanks to its 2019 Season World Championship. Viewership for the game was nearly double that of Fortnite throughout the month, thanks to the ongoing tournament which lasted from October 2nd to November 10th. Grand Finals on November 10th peaked with over 1.7 million viewers, even higher than Fortnite’s peak during its “The End” event. This also happened to be the highest peak of all time for League of Legends on Twitch. It’s a good reminder that although League of Legends doesn’t often show up on the front page of industry news in the same manner as Fortnite, it is silently growing and maintaining its industry leadership position, especially with respect to esports.

Top 5 Social Impressions

Overall
October 2019 tracked spending across video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards totaled $1.03 billion, the second highest total for an October month this decade, trailing only the record setting $1.57 billion in October 2018.
 
The October 2019 spending declines can be primarily attributed to fewer blockbuster releases compared to October 2018, as well as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare having two fewer weeks in the October tracking month than Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 did a year ago.
 
Year-to-date spending across tracked video game hardware, software, accessories and game cards has fallen 10 percent when compared to 2018, to $9.3 billion.
 

Software (All notes refer to dollar sales)
Dollar sales of tracked video game software declined 37 percent in October versus a year ago, to $620 million. Despite this decline, October 2019 tracked software sales represent the third highest total ever achieved for an October month, trailing only October 2008 and October 2018.
 
Year-to-date dollar sales of tracked video game software are down 7 percent, to $4.5 billion. Gains in sales of Nintendo Switch software sales have been offset by declines across all other platforms.
 
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare debuts as the best-selling game of October 2019, and is now the best-selling game of 2019 year to date. This is the twelfth consecutive year a Call of Duty game has ranked as the best-selling game of its release month. Call of Duty remains the best-selling video game franchise in U.S. tracked history (dollar sales).
 
Luigi's Mansion 3 was the third best-selling game of October, while also being the month's best-selling game on Nintendo Switch. Luigi's Mansion 3 set a new launch month franchise sales record, besting the previous high set by Luigi's Mansion.
 
Year-to-date sales of fighting genre games are at an all-time high, with genre sales 11 percent higher than the previous year-to-date high set in 2015. Both Mortal Kombat 11 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have significantly contributed to that success.
 

Hardware
Hardware spending in October 2019 fell 41 percent when compared to a year ago, to $182 million. Year-to-date hardware spending has declined 23 percent versus year ago, to i$2.1 billion.  Nintendo Switch is the only platform with sales gains both in October as well as year to date.
 
Nintendo Switch was again the best-selling hardware platform of October and remains the best-selling platform of 2019.
 
With six years in the market, the PlayStation 4 ranks as the third fastest unit-selling home console in history, trailing only the six-year sales totals of the Wii and the PlayStation 2.
 

Accessories & Game Cards
Total October 2019 spending on accessories and game cards fell 16 percent when compared to a year ago, to $231 million. Year-to-date sales of accessories and game cards are down 3 percent when compared to a year ago, to $2.7 billion.
 
The PS4 DualShock 4 Electric Purple Gamepad was the best-selling accessory of October 2019 (dollar sales). The PS4 DualShock 4 Black Gamepad remains the best-selling accessory of 2019 year to date.

All data collected from GamePulse.

 

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