When it comes to the sale of new games and hardware, the video game industry ended 2014 up just 1%, generating $13.1 billion, according to results released by the NPD Group.
Activision Blizzard’s “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” was the top-selling game, followed by Electronic Arts’ “Madden NFL 15,” Activision’s “Destiny,” Take-Two Interactive’s “Grand Theft Auto V,” Microsoft’s “Minecraft,” Nintendo’s “Super Smash Bros.,” Take-Two’s “NBA 2K15,” Ubisoft’s “Watch Dogs,” EA’s “FIFA 15” and Activision’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts” rounding out the top 10.
NPD does not provide specific sales figures for individual titles.
Overall, new software generated $5.3 billion, off 13% when compared to 2013. Hardware came in up 20% to $5 billion, due to new consoles from Microsoft and Sony. Meanwhile, the accessories biz, which includes toys tied to “Skylanders” and “Disney Infinity,” and portable handheld devices, gained 5% to $2.7 billion.
“For 2014, a modest 1% increase in overall sales was fueled almost entirely by the $838 million increase in hardware sales, offsetting the $808 million decline in software,” according to NPD Group analyst Liam Callahan.
Nintendo’s Wii U had its strongest year thanks to new games and the launch of the amiibo platform, the company said.
In fact, the Wii U set hardware and software sales records in December, which helped full-year hardware sales increase 29% and software rise 75% over 2013.
“Mario Kart 8” sold over 1.7 million physical and digital units, and “Super Smash Bros.” moved 1.3 million physical and digital units for Wii U in 2014, the company said. Sixteen Nintendo 3DS titles sold at least 250,000 units. Of those titles, eight sold more than 500,000 units and three sold over 1 million units.
December, typically a prime month for the games biz, saw sales of $3.25 billion, down 1%.
“Keep in mind that the results for December and 2014 as a whole show the console space is going through a period of two transitions, one being a generational transition from seventh generation to eighth generation consoles and, second, a format transition as console gamers become more comfortable with downloading games and what is being offered digitally,” Callahan said.
When it comes to consoles, after 14 months on the market, cumulative sales of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One exceeded the PS3 and Xbox 360 sales by 65%, NPD noted. The PS4 marks the most successful launch of a console in the U.S., followed by the Xbox One.