Gamers Flock to New Titles in May

Videogame publishers scored with new game launches in May, and software sales surged an impressive 57% during the month, driven by blockbuster launches of Ubisoft’s “Watch Dogs,” Nintendo’s “Mario Kart 8” and Bethesda’s “Wolfenstein: The New Order.”

New titles generated $274 million last month, NPD Group said. Overall, the games biz generated $586 million, a gain of 51%, as hardware also propped up the biz — the sale of new consoles like Sony’s PlayStation 4, Microsoft’s Xbox One and the Nintendo Wii U helped hardware sales surge 95% to $187 million. Consoles alone accounted for a 137% uptick.

The hacker-themed “Watch Dogs” was the top-selling game of the month (see above); Nintendo’s “Mario Kart 8,” Sony’s “MLB 14: The Show,” Bethesda’s “Wolfenstein: The New Order” and “Minecraft” for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 rounded out the top five. The launches ended six straight months of software sales declines for the industry.

Activision’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” was also popular, while Activision’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts,” which debuted last November, is still in the top 10.

For the rest of the biz, used game sales and rentals generated an estimated $124 million, while downloads, microtransactions and other digital sales brought in $787 million, NPD said, adding up to $1.46 billion when factoring all platforms.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 was the top0selling console for a fifth month in a row in May.

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