Ubisoft’s open-world action game/bear murdering simulator “Far Cry 5” debuted as the top-selling title of March 2018 and is now the best-selling title of the year, according to market research company the NPD Group.
“Far Cry 5” takes place in rural Montana, where a doomsday cult has taken over a fictional county. The player, as a rookie deputy, battles the cult alongside some locals who’ve formed a resistance. The game broke franchise sales records after it launched March 27, nearly doubling the first week sales of its predecessor and becoming the fastest-selling title in the series’ history.
Microsoft and Rare’s online pirate game “Sea of Thieves” also had a successful month. It was the second best-selling title of March — despite fan complaints about lack of content — generating the highest launch month sales for any Rare game since The NPD Group began tracking such data in 1995.
“MLB 18: The Show,” “Kirby Star Allies,” and “Grand Theft Auto V” round out the top five best-selling games of March. “Kirby” also apparently set a new franchise record. Consumer spending for the game during launch was over 90% higher than the franchise’s previous best-seller during launch, “Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land,” which was released on the Game Boy Advance in December 2002.
Overall, the NPD Group said dollar sales of console, PC, and portable software between March 3 and April 7 was an estimated $613 million in March, down 10% compared to a year ago. But, year to date, software spending is up 8% versus a year ago, mainly due to the Nintendo Switch, which is currently the best-selling hardware of 2018.
It’s important to note the NPD Group tracks both online and retail sales of new physical video games, as well as certain full-game digital downloads, but it doesn’t track digital sales on PC or consoles.