January NPD 2018: Monster Hunter even slays beasts like Call of Duty and PUBG

02-22 07:30

2018 is off to a good start for the gaming industry. Revenues in January were up 59 percent year-over-year and generated $1.096 billion, according to the industry-tracking firm The NPD Group .

The big winner is Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World, which was the best-selling game for the month despite launching January 26. The series has always beenpopular in Japan, and it’s one of the publisher’s  most successful franchises . It doubled down on Western audiences with Monster Hunter: World, focusing on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 rather than Nintendo systems. It also introduced a more open-world feel. Capcom’s efforts paid off, and it sold over 5 million copies of the game in the first weekend alone.

“Sales of Monster Hunter: World represent an all-time launch month high for the Monster Hunter franchise in the U.S.,” NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said.

Here are the numbers for January 2018:

  • Total:  $1.096 billion (up 59 percent from $690 million in January 2017)
  • Hardware:  $278 million (up 119 percent from $127 million)
  • PC and console software:  $517 million (up 51 percent from $343 million)
  • Accessories:  $301 million (up 37 percent from $220 million)

The NPD now reports PC and console software sales together. The report doesn’t cover total market spend, and it is missing certain data. It is more of a snapshot of the market as a whole, using data from participating publishers and platforms.



  1. Monster Hunter: World
  2. Dragon Ball: Fighterz
  3. Call of Duty: WWII
  4. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds*
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. NBA 2K18
  7. Super Mario Odyssey**
  8. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild**
  9. Mario Kart 8**
  10. Madden NFL 18
  11. Star Wars: Battlefront II*
  12. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  13. UFC 3
  14. Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
  15. FIFA 18*
  16. Dragon Ball: Xenoverse
  17. The Sims 4*
  18. Splatoon 2**
  19. Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT
  20. Need for Speed: Payback*

* No PC digital sales

** No digital sales

Capcom was the top publisher for the month, thanks to Monster Hunter: World hitting the target. But the Dragon Ball franchise also had a successful month. Dragon Ball Fighterz from developer Arc System Works and publisher Bandai Namco ranked as the No. 2 best-selling game, and Dragon Ball: Xenoverse came in at No. 16.

“Launch month sales of Dragon Ball Fighterz were the highest for a Dragon Ball franchise release since Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, which released in December 2002,” said Piscatella.

PUBG Corp.’s PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is also creeping up the top-selling list, rising from No. 7 in December to No. 4. The popular battle royale game launched on Xbox One on December 12 and sold more than 3 million copies within a month.

Xbox One

  1. Monster Hunter: World
  2. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  3. Call of Duty: WWII
  4. Dragon Ball Fighterz
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. Star Wars: Battlefront II
  7. NBA 2K18
  8. Madden NFL 18
  9. Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  10. UFC 3

PlayStation 4

  1. Monster Hunter: World
  2. Dragon Ball Fighterz
  3. Call of Duty: WWII
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. NBA 2K18
  6. Madden NFL 18
  7. Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT
  8. Star Wars: Battlefront II
  9. UFC 3
  10. FIFA 18

Nintendo Switch**

  1. Super Mario Odyssey
  2. Mario Kart 8
  3. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  4. Splatoon 2
  5. Pokken Tournament DX
  6. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
  7. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  8. ARMS
  9. Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
  10. Doom 2016

Nintendo 3DS**

  1. Pokemon: Ultra Sun
  2. Pokemon: Ultra Moon
  3. Mario Kart 7
  4. Mario Party: The Top 100
  5. Minecraft
  6. Super Mario Maker
  7. Super Smash Bros.
  8. Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions
  9. New Super Mario Bros. 2
  10. Kirby: Battle Royale

The best-selling games over the last 12 months

  1. Call of Duty: WWII
  2. NBA 2K18
  3. Destiny 2*
  4. Madden NFL 18
  5. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild**
  6. Grand Theft Auto V
  7. Star Wars: Battlefront II*
  8. Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  9. Super Mario Odyssey**
  10. Mario Kart 8**

Hardware and accessories

It was a booming month for hardware, which was up 119 percent year-over-year and generated $278 million. NPD reports that consumers bought more than 1 million consoles, the highest number since January 2011. The Nintendo Switch sold the most systems, but Sony’s PlayStation 4 generated the most revenue. Microsoft’s Xbox One rounds out the top-three consoles for the month.

“PlayStation 4, Switch and Xbox One all performed well in the month of January,” said Piscatella. “In dollar sales, the gap between the top-selling platform and the third best-selling was only three percent.”

Aside from the Switch, Nintendo also saw a resurgence of interest in the 3DS. The handheld console sold the most in January since the same time period in 2013.

The accessories category had a record January, generating $301 million. Consumers were mainly interested in headsets, and Turtle Beach was the best seller of the month.

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