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The Best-Selling Video Games And Hardware Of March (2018) -- 'Far Cry 5' Leads The Pack

April 26,2018 08:16

March was the first month of 2018 that saw video game software and hardware sales actually decline from 2017. That's largely thanks to the launch of the Nintendo Switch in March of last year, which skewed both figures higher than normal. All told ...and more »


Erik Kain , Contributor Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Credit: Ubisoft

Far Cry 5 was the best-selling video game in March and of 2018 to-date.

March was the first month of 2018 that saw video game software and hardware sales actually decline from 2017. That's largely thanks to the launch of the Nintendo Switch in March of last year, which skewed both figures higher than normal.
All told, spending across hardware, software and accessories (including game cards) fell 11% compared to a year ago. Gains in accessories and game cards were not enough to offset declines elsewhere.
Hardware
Hardware spending was down 32% in March to $331 million according to the NPD Group. Year-to-date, hardware spending is at $925 million largely driven by growth in Xbox One spending. Despite March declines, this is still the highest spending on hardware since 2014.
The PS4 was the best-selling console of March 2018.
Accessories and Game Cards
Spending on accessories and game cards was up 20% over March 2017 to $372 million. This is a record for game card spending in March and the highest spending on accessories since 2008. Year-to-date spending on these categories is up 29% over 2017 to $956 million.
Headset/headphone spending grew 96% compared to a year ago, with a 78% increase year-to-date.
According to the NPD Group, "No Console platform achieved Game Card spending growth of less than 40 percent in the month of March.  Battle Royale games such as Epic Games' Fortnite are a likely driver of this performance."
Software
Gamers spent $613 million in March on gaming software, down 10% from 2017. Year-to-date spending is up 8% driven largely by Nintendo Switch software sales.
Far Cry 5 was the best-selling video game of March 2017 and became the best-selling video game of 2018 so far, beating out Monster Hunter World. The game sold twice as many copies in its launch month as the previous franchise record-holder, Far Cry 3. Ubisoft is now the best-selling publisher of 2018.
Here are the top 20 best-selling games of March:
Far Cry 5
Sea Of Thieves
MLB 18: The Show
Kirby Star Allies*
Grand Theft Auto V
Call of Duty: WWII
Mario Kart 8*
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
NBA 2K18
Monster Hunter: World
Super Mario Odyssey*
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds^
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Siege
A Way Out^
Assassin's Creed: Origins
Dragon Ball: Fighterz
FIFA 18^
Splatoon 2*
UFC 3
* Digital sales not included as Nintendo is not part of the NPD Group's digital tracking program.
^ PC digital sales not included.

Credit: Capcom

Monster Hunter World remains the second-best-selling game of 2018.

Far Cry 5 obviously sold like gangbusters and, given how good the game is---read my review here---that's fantastic news. I'm also not surprised that Sea of Thieves sold well---after all, what other Xbox exclusives are Xbox One gamers going to buy? Sorry Xbox gamers, you know it's true...
I'm also impressed that Kirby Star Allies did so well, especially since this isn't even counting digital sales (which Nintendo still doesn't have the NPD track for some reason.)
I'm glad to see Ni No Kuni II on the list as well.
Of course, Grand Theft Auto V is still selling like crazy. Rockstar's game manages to be on this list every single month, and has been---to the best of my knowledge---in the Top 10 since it launched in 2013. It's just insane how many copies this game has sold and continues to sell with no sign of any major slowdown.
Monster Hunter: World is down from the #1 spot in February and January to #10 in March, but it's still put in impressive numbers.
Another important thing to point out here is the fact that PUBG is included at 13 but this doesn't include PC sales, which drastically skews the final number. Despite being in the long shadow cast by Fortnite these days, it's still a powerhouse in its own right.
And speaking of Fortnite, that game makes no appearance here at all since it's free-to-play. It's still making oodles of money, however, and it's a little odd to think about how to quantify and compare that to these pay-to-play titles.
Top 10 Best-Selling Games Year-To-Date
Here are the top 10 best-selling games of 2018 so far:
Far Cry 5
Monster Hunter: World
Dragon Ball: Fighterz
Call of Duty: WWII
Grand Theft Auto V
NBA 2K18
Playerunknown's Battlegrounds^
Sea Of Thieves
MLB 18: The Show
Mario Kart 8*
Monster Hunter: World is bumped down to the #2 spot year-to-date and GTA V is in the same position on both lists. All the usual suspects are here.

Credit: Rockstar

Grand Theft Auto V remains on the video game charts month after month.

Top 10 Best-Selling Games Revolving 12 Months
Finally, here are the top 10 best-selling games over the past 12 months ending in March 2018:
Call of Duty: WWII
NBA 2K18
Destiny 2^
Madden NFL 18
Super Mario Odyssey*
Star Wars: Battlefront II 2017^
Grand Theft Auto V
Mario Kart 8*
Assassin's Creed: Origins
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild*
Again, no surprises here. Call of Duty: WWII will likely remain on the revolving list as the top seller for some time (it always does and WWII was the best-selling entry in that franchise in years.) It's good to see three Nintendo games here, and none of these include digital sales.
Two games we don't see on the monthly or year-to-date lists are Destiny 2 and Star Wars: Battlefront II, both of which have proven to be deeply controversial titles which may explain the slowdown in sales into 2018, though neither of these titles' PC sales are tracked by the NPD Group.
You can check out the best-selling games of January and February below:

GalleryThe Top 12 Upcoming Games Of 2018
Launch Gallery
12 images

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